Over the coming year, ITTE will be working with the Micro:bit Educational Foundation to support teacher educators and student teachers to use micro:bits in the classroom. In this post, Philip Meitiner, the International Program Manager for the Micro:bit Educational Foundation shares some ideas and resources for using micro:bits in the classroom.
If you’re involved in teaching information technology, the chances are you’ve come across the BBC micro:bit – the pocket-sized, codeable computer designed to stimulate children to get creative with digital technologies.
It’s widely acknowledged that coding skills will be essential for a huge range of careers in the future, yet the UK is facing a significant talent shortage within the digital sector. The micro:bit, which was first introduced to teachers in 2015 as part of the BBC’s Make It Digital campaign, aims to tackle this skills deficit and help develop a new generation of digital pioneers to drive industry throughout the UK.
The micro:bit’s appeal is not, however, limited to the UK: initially distributed to almost a million UK pupils pupils at its launch, the tiny powerhouse was soon snapped up by educators worldwide and is now available in over 50 countries … which means it’s well on its way to achieving the Micro:bit Educational Foundation’s goal of inspiring more than 100 million children around the globe.
So, what’s the secret of its success?
Well, right from the very start it was designed to be classroom-friendly: it’s easy to pick up and use with very little training, and can be programmed using a variety of free coding platforms on a PC, laptop or Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet.
It’s also extremely versatile: although it’s small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, it has a screen, onboard sensors and the option to add a host of exciting peripherals such as servo motors, neopixels, all manner of sensors – and even robots.
This versatility means that the potential uses of the micro:bit are limited only by the pupils’ imaginations: the micro:bit website has hundreds of activities, projects and lessons suitable for a variety of subject areas, including design technology, physics and even music or art.
Resources are available for a wide range of ages and abilities, with plenty of ‘how to’ videoguides and tutorials to show you how to get started … so, whether you fancy creating a milk-carton robot, a light-up glove or even an air guitar, you’re sure to find something to inspire you and your students!
Check out the resources below:
micro:bit info page
To find out more, or to discuss your ideas for classroom projects, catch up with the micro:bit team at BETT (24-27 January 2018, London).