We will provide details on how teachers can register their school to receive BBC micro:bits later this summer, and from the second half of September we will begin dispatching micro:bits to schools, targeting every year-7 ICT teacher in the UK.
The BBC and partners are developing a wide range of support resources for parents, teachers and group leaders. These include projects and ideas on using the device straight away, so children can get coding in minutes, and matching practical projects with the computing curriculum.
There will be examples of both formal and informal learning resources. Curriculum-relevant content will appeal for use in the classroom and may be integrated into lesson activity, which can also be supplemented by BBC Bitesize content for Computer Science. Informal learning resources will be usable outside the school environment, whether that’s at home, events or enthusiast groups or clubs.
BBC micro:bit website
The website (microbit.co.uk) will launch later in the summer, allowing teachers and young people to practise coding through a simulator, well before they receive their BBC micro:bits. The simulator shows how their coding will illuminate the LEDs on the device and, over time, users can learn how to control other devices using the Bluetooth Smart Technology functionality.
The BBC micro:bit website will contain a set of six getting started videos, ranging from opening the box and setting up the connections to a computer, how to use the web interface and how to upload code to the device. There will also be two or three fun projects readily available to help people get started. During the autumn term, the website will be updated with technical help, frequently asked questions and an ever-increasing range of projects to show the full potential of the device.
Quick start guide for teachers
The Quick Start Guide for Teachers, supported by Microsoft, provides a detailed guide to setting up and programming code on to the BBC micro:bit. The guide is published by Hodder and will be sent out with the micro:bits as part of the welcome pack. It is designed to stimulate interest in the device, simplify the process of getting to grips with the technology, and reduce the time before children are up and coding confidently. The book contains challenges, ideas and a full visual demonstration of the coding environment with helpful tips throughout. It will make starting out with the micro:bit as straightforward as possible and will help teachers integrate the micro:bit into the curriculum.
Over the summer, the BBC and our partners will work with teachers to continue our device testing programme. It will be an opportunity for children to test the device, think up some new ideas and begin using the BBC micro:bit right away. The BBC will in parallel be working with a number of teacher practitioners to further test functionality and to define and develop projects supporting the computing curriculum.
During the autumn term we are going on the road with teachers, contributing to the work of the ten CAS regional centres and the STEMNET teacher practitioner network events to showcase, test and refine the full potential of the BBC micro:bit. It will feature heavily in BBC programming and it is planned to link this with specific projects and activities matched to programmes on BBC channels.
The BBC micro:bit product partners and champions are currently producing an exciting range of materials, available when the website is launched to support teachers, parents and students. There will be a wealth of online resources, online applications and technologies, printable resources and videos as well as a range of face-to-face activities such as workshops, training and local and national events. The partnership is also joining the Computing At School (CAS) network at its regional hub events in the autumn as well as supporting a STEMNET conference in September.
There will be opportunities for teachers to view online, adapt, download and embed resources to deliver lessons using the BBC micro:bit. There are also resources being created that are aimed at getting parents and families engaged too. The majority of proposals have strong child engagement and look to capture the interest of young people whether through career driven approaches or informal challenges.