Why I’m a fan of the BBC Microbit!
We were lucky enough to get hold of a few Microbits last week (thanks Lancaster Uni!!) for our Primary pupils to play with.
If you’re unsure of what they are check out this info here. A credit card sized computer inclusive of various input methods such as buttons and accelerometer, output via LED and a micro usb slot.
I love the innovative use of the tech – it’s all in the detail. The way the ‘bits’ of the computer are labelled on the back – the a, b buttons, the micro usb. There is lots on there to keep the pupils busy. Perfect for an introduction to computing and coding.
Their website is also high quality and very useful, easy to navigate with several options for teachers to get involved. Lots of videos – including great ones for the children to watch and links to ‘live’ lessons that the BBC has carried out.
In a coding section – the virtual Microbit gives a chance to test something before you save it to the microbit encourages risk (and allows the teacher the chance to put restrictions on it).
Here’s why I think they should be in every school:
There are a few ways to input code onto the Microbit, text based as well as block based. For Primary children the block based input is very similar to Scratch and therefore easy to pick up. Explaining the language used is super simple, and great for teachers to play about with as well.
We were quickly able to create names and pictures upon different button presses and movement – it was a great opportunity for us to learn alongside the children!
The LEDs are incredibly motivating for the pupils – and it is so creative – within the first few minutes they children could be responsible for their picture or their name on the LEDs.
How far do you want to go…
I would like to see these brilliant machines in every school – the community built up around them offers many, many options for the development of resources!
We have a fantastic resource here – let’s make the most of it!!