Microbits-- the teacher's point of view

World Health:Microbits, considered at the heart of last year s (BBC) digital season, will continue to exist as a device in the UK and beyond as a device to stimulate computi...

May 07,2021 | Amy

Microbits-- the teacher's point of view

Microbits, considered at the heart of last year's (BBC) digital season, will continue to exist as a device in the UK and beyond as a device to stimulate computing creativity.

But what was its purpose as a gadget in the first place, to make a million seven year olds think differently about computers?

To be fair, this project has many initial difficulties.

It had been hoped that it would begin in September 2015, the start of the new school year, but repeated delays meant that many schools were unable to deliver tiny parts to seventh graders until the summer semester began.

I have heard many teachers complain that it is too late to integrate this equipment into the curriculum, and they have no time to prepare teaching materials anyway.

There was also a heated discussion about whether it was really a good idea to give it to the children to take them home-as instructed by the project organizers-rather than leaving them in the classroom.

A few years ago, I saw a similar debate in Nigeria, where the "One Laptop per Child" program encouraged schools to let children bring their laptops home, while rival Intel Students programs saw computers locked up at the end of each day.

The BBC says microbits have been successful in changing attitudes to computers, and its research suggests that girls, in particular, are now more likely to take the course.

But what do the schools that must make it work?

I talked to three teachers.

How does micro-position respond in your school?

Amy McGerry-Amy McGarry-Thickitt, Ashfield School, Nottinghamshire

micro bits have dropped very well in our school, students really enjoy using them, and staff find them easy to teach.

Lucy bunce y Pant Comprehensive Pontyclun Glamorgan

We found that they are easier to use than the raspberry Pis we tried before-they are very effective and easy to integrate into the network

I talked to a couple of students, and they all said they wanted to do a little more work in class this year, and I think we're going to learn.

Paula Dean (Paula Dean), Plackgate High School, Blackburn

The students are very excited about the micro drill. We are also excited as computer teachers, because it is a simple way to teach quite complicated understanding.

The students get real-time visual feedback on their programming, which makes it very exciting.

They like microbits to tell them where there is a coding error, as well.

Does it matter if something planned to start in the seventh year comes late?

Yes, being late means we have to teach with them now (this August, last July) because we don't have time to plan and launch homework, so we have to put it off.

Lucy Bones: They arrived in March, just in the middle of the marking season, so the teachers didn't have time to play with them, and the course wasn't planned as we hoped.

But we did find a lot of good materials on the Internet.

Yes, that means we didn't have time to use them in seventh grade at our school.

We now use them in the eighth year of the course, but also in the ninth year of the course.

Does it have any obvious influence on girls' attitude towards computers?

Amy mcgarry-thickitt: Girls Seem to be more attractive, and more girls seem interested in taking them home than boys.

Lucy Bones: Well, we took a group of girls to a digital festival, and they gave good feedback-but they may be a self-selected group.

Out of a total of 23 students, we finally had four girls to do the computer General Secondary Education Certificate ((GCSE)).

Paula Dean: Girls are more engaged because of the visual aspects of microscopy. They can see how this can be used in the real world.

Can the children take the equipment home with them?

Amy McGarry-Sikit: When we studied them at school, we always mastered the micro drill-but at the end of this topic, we allowed the students to take them home if they wanted to.

Yeah, they take them home at the end of summer school. We need to find out what they did to Them.-i'm afraid many of them may end up in drawers.

Looking back, we wonder if we should stop them and hand them over to the 7-year-old this year.

But several students told me that they played with them during the holidays.

One said he had connected to his phone and made a selfie stick with it, while the other put it on a plane to Croatia to let all flight attendants play.

The kids haven't taken them home yet. In our computing course, we have shown them how to program with it.

Once they have confidence in using websites and different programming languages, the eighth grade students will take them home.

We didn't want them to take them without knowing how to use them, because we were afraid they would get stuck in a drawer and couldn't be used anymore.

Micro bit point Blackburn

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