The tiny BBC micro:bit mini-computer just got a big upgrade

A new version of the pocket-sized BBC micro:bit computer is coming to schools worldwide, packed with new features designed to keep young students up-to-date with the latest hot trends in technology. 

New hardware will help young coders make experiments with artificial intelligence, and build applications running machine-learning systems. The micro:bit 2.0 also includes, for the first time, a built-in speaker and microphone, so that sound-based projects no longer have to be connected to exterior audio systems – while also letting the device respond and react to sounds like clapping. 

And in a nod to big tech and the industry’s privacy headaches, an LED will flash to make it clear when the microphone is on and sensing sound, to encourage young users to reflect on the pervasiveness of listening devices.

SEE: Technology in education: The latest products and trends (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“We want to support teachers teaching or taking their first steps with digital creativity and coding,” Gareth Stockdale, CEO of the micro:bit educational foundation, told ZDNet. 

“So, listening to what teachers would find useful was really important, and making and creating with sounds always came out at the top. That’s why we worked on playful sounds and personality for the micro:bit, not just monotone beeps and buzzes.”

Available from mid-November 2020, the micro:bit’s new features are coming four years after the first iteration of the device was released as part of an effort to help children get to grips with basic programming skills. 

A 4×5-centimetre computer complete with two programmable buttons, LEDs, and I/O rings to connect to other objects, the first micro:bit launched in 2016 with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology. The goal was to enable children with no prior knowledge of computing to easily code the computer with something simple in seconds, using a

Northern Ireland U21 v Finland U21: Ballymena game live on BBC Sport NI website

Shayne Lavery (right) battles with Norway's Jonas Svensson in last month's senior friendly
Shayne Lavery (right) is in the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad after featuring for the senior side in last month’s defeat by Norway
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds Date: Friday 9 October Kick-off: 18:00 BST
Coverage: Live on the BBC Sport NI website

Northern Ireland Under-21s will aim for only their second win of the current European Championship qualifying campaign when they host Finland at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday night.

Friday’s match will be live on the BBC Sport Northern Ireland website.

Last month’s 2-0 away victory in Malta was Northern Ireland’s sole win in seven Group Eight qualifiers to date.

That was followed by a 1-0 home defeat by leaders Denmark – which was third loss of the campaign for the Irish.

Northern Ireland’s tally of six points leaves only Malta below them in the campaign as they sit 13 behind the Danes.

Caretaker manager Andy Crosby includes Linfield’s Shayne Lavery, Barrow full-back Bobby Burns, now on loan at Glentoran, and Livingston defender Ciaron Brown, who have all been part of Northern Ireland senior squads.

Watford midfielder JJ McKiernan, QPR midfielder Amrit Bansal-McNulty – who is on loan with Serie C side Como – and Brighton forward Ben Wilson have earned first call-ups.

Portadown striker Lee Bonis and Cliftonville and Linfield defenders Aaron Donnelly and Ross Larkin are retained in their squad after having their first involvement with the under-21s last month.

Northern Ireland will face second-placed Ukraine in Ballymena on Tuesday in another game that will be live on the BBC Sport Northern Ireland website.

Northern Ireland Under-21 squad

Goalkeepers: Conor Hazard (Celtic), Nathan Gartside (Derry City)

Defenders: Eoin Toal (Derry City), Caolan Marron (Glentoran), Ciaron Brown (Livingston), Kofi Balmer (Ballymena United), Jack Scott (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Daniel Amos (Doncaster Rovers), Ross Larkin (Linfield), Aaron Donnelly (Cliftonville), Nathan Kerr (Portadown)

Midfielders:

Rachel Bendavid Named Head of Scripted Programming BBC Studios-Lionsgate TV Partnership

Rachel Bendavid has been named head of scripted programming for the Lionsgate-BBC Studios Los Angeles TV partnership. Bendavid will be responsible for overseeing the operations and content initiatives for the co-production partnership, as well as shepherding the development and production of its programming slate. Before joining Lionsgate, Bendavid served as vice president of drama programming for ABC Entertainment. Lionsgate and BBC Studios formed the partnership in 2019 to identify, co-develop and co-fund scripted formats and original intellectual property for the U.S. market. The partnership has yielded pilot orders for adaptations of BBC series “This Country” (Fox) and “Ghosts” (CBS). Also Read: Lionsgate Signs First-Look Deal With Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment “I’m thrilled to be joining the Lionsgate and BBC Studios LA family and to be working with global content leaders from both sides of the pond,” said Bendavid. “Lionsgate and BBC Studios are homes to deep and rich content portfolios and talent relationships, which makes this a very exciting and refreshing new venture for me. I can’t wait to continue to elevate this partnership and bring even more great programming to television audiences.” “Rachel is an incredibly talented executive with a strong track record and an impeccable creative eye for…

Read original story Rachel Bendavid Named Head of Scripted Programming BBC Studios-Lionsgate TV Partnership At TheWrap

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LEADING INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE RACHEL BENDAVID NAMED HEAD OF SCRIPTED PROGRAMMING FOR LIONSGATE AND BBC STUDIOS LOS ANGELES PARTNERSHIP

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Respected television executive Rachel Bendavid has been named Head of Scripted Programming for the Lionsgate and BBC Studios Los Angeles partnership. The partnership was formed to identify, co-develop and co-fund scripted formats and original intellectual property for the U.S. market.

(PRNewsfoto/Lionsgate)

Bendavid is responsible for overseeing the operations and content initiatives of the television partnership as well as shepherding the development and production of its programming slate. Within a year of its launch, the partnership has already received pilot orders for its U.S. adaptations of hit BBC series from FOX for “This Country” and CBS for “Ghosts.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Lionsgate and BBC Studios LA family and to be working with global content leaders from both sides of the pond,” said Bendavid. “Lionsgate and BBC Studios are homes to deep and rich content portfolios and talent relationships, which makes this a very exciting and refreshing new venture for me. I can’t wait to continue to elevate this partnership and bring even more great programming to television audiences.”

“Rachel is an incredibly talented executive with a strong track record and an impeccable creative eye for premium, must-see content,” said Lionsgate EVP, Television & Head of Development Scott Herbst. “Her leadership skills, passion for television and expert knowledge of the business will be invaluable in leading our partnership with BBC Studios and creating more great series for our content pipeline.” 

“Rachel has a real knowledge of and passion for distinct British voices. Based on this, along with her deep experience at ABC and FOX and her strong connections within the industry, she is well positioned to build our scripted partnership and continue to develop exciting opportunities for the UK creative community in the U.S.,” said Valerie Bruce, General Manager, LA Productions,