Tiny codeable computers donated to Norfolk libraries to teach new skills

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More than 500 pocket-sized, codeable computers have been donated to libraries across Norfolk to help improve children’s digital skills.

The BBC micro:bit is available to hire from every Norfolk County Council library and can be used for digital creations, from games to robots to musical instruments.

All 520 were donated by Micro:bit Educational Foundation as part of a worldwide drive to encourage children to get creative with technology and gain digital skills in clubs, schools and at home.

Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, Margaret Dewsbury, said: “We are very grateful for the donation. Many of our libraries already run successful computer coding clubs and we are increasing our other digital services.

“The micro:bits mean all Norfolk children have free access to learn how to code, create and have fun, improving their digital skills for the future.”

The micro:bits can be borrowed for free for up to three weeks on any library card and come with instructions, a USB cable and battery holder.

They have built-in displays, buttons, motion detection, temperature and light sensors and can be programmed via any desktop or laptop computer and can be used with mobile phones or tablets using Bluetooth.

Coding can be done using a choice of editors, including Python and JavaScripts Blocks.

Coding clubs are run by volunteers and the library service is keen to increase the number of volunteers so they can offer more clubs. For more information, visit www.codeclub.org.uk/start-a-club/volunteers.