Schools in Iceland began working with the micro:bit in 2016 as a government-funded initiative, delivered by Directorate of Education MMS (Menntamálastofnun).
The goal was to supply all 6th graders (age 11 – 12) in Iceland with micro:bit devices and an introduction to digital skills. In each academic year since then, a new cohort of students reaches 6th grade, receiving their micro:bit during the school year.
The initial successes of the project were attributed to taking a bottom-up approach to harness student engagement and enthusiasm as the ‘steering wheel’ for the project, taking feedback and insight from students to plan content and materials to support teachers.
Funding and partnership
In 2019, the project reached its fourth academic year. Supported through partnership, funding for the initiaitive comes from the Federation of Icelandic Industries (SI) and delivered by MMS, the government agency for curriculum materials and evaluation.
MMS' focus in 2019/20 is to provide additional support to schools and teachers, with additional resource material is supplied for free on the "Kodinn 1.0" platform.
MMS partnered with the University of Iceland where lecturers in applied computer science created a short course in using micro:bit, taught as a module for science students (worth 5 ECTS credits)
As a result, university students who completed the module could function as supportive micro:bit mentors to teachers. The purpose of this was to stress to teachers that additional support systems were available to them when working with the micro:bit and expanding their teaching practice.