Finnish national micro:bit pilot
Announcing the Finnish micro:bit pilot
The University of Helsinki’s Innokas Network and the Micro:bit Foundation announce today a cooperative project for a national pilot of the BBC micro:bit in fifty Finnish schools.
The small and powerful micro:bit is already in use at fifteen schools around Finland. When the pilot launches this autumn, fifty more schools will join them with the aim of developing and sharing best practices, aligned to the Finnish National Core Curriculum, for the teaching of programming and robotics. The Micro:bit Foundation's CEO, Zach Shelby, explains: “throughout our pilot the Innokas Network will study how the teachers and children work and at what age pupils are most receptive to the micro:bit.” Two teachers from each participating elementary school will join a two-day micro:bit training course given by Innokas teachers at the University of Helsinki. At the end of the training each pair of teachers will return to their schools with twenty free micro:bit sets to take part in the pilot.
The Innokas Network, coordinated by the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Educational Sciences, promotes the use of digital technology in teaching and has a network of enthusiastic teachers throughout Finland. "This is exactly what the micro:bit needs," says Tiina Korhonen, Head of the Innokas Network, "an extensive and active teachers’ support network for its teaching tools."
The Micro:bit Educational Foundation became an independent non-profit organisation in October 2016 to manage the BBC micro:bit project started by the BBC with its twenty-nine partners a year ago. The project gave away one million micro:bits, one to every eleven to twelve year-old child in the UK. According to UK studies, it is easier and more fun to learn computer skills using the micro:bit and 87% of teachers said their pupils learned how to code with the device. Zach Shelby hopes some day all schools will offer the best teachers in the world the opportunity to use simple teaching tools for coding and robotics to help create a positive impact on girls and also boys and pupils from rural areas.