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Thomas Ball

Abstract

Physical Computing for Everyone

Thanks to Moore’s Law, embeddable microcontroller-based devices continue to get cheaper, faster, and include more integrated sensors and networking options. In 2016, the BBC and a host of technical partners, including Microsoft, delivered such a physical computing device, the micro:bit, to every 5th grader in the UK. Microsoft Research helped to make the micro:bit easy to program for novices. The non-profit Micro:bit Education Foundation (microbit.org), of which Microsoft is a founding partner, was recently created to take the micro:bit global. Over the last year, Microsoft has invested in a new web-based programming platform for physical computing in education, called Microsoft MakeCode (www.makecode.com). In this talk, I’ll describe the design principles behind the platform and our experience with it to date.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

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