In New Taipei City, Taiwan, professors and volunteers at National ChengChi University run the SOOBI project, which aims to empower trainee teachers by developing their knowledge and ability in coding using micro:bit.
Trainee teachers who participate in SOOBI are also offered the opportunity to expand their practice and certify as lecturers in programming courses. With thease new skills, trainees are encouraged to become volunteers to bring programming education into local schools through camp activities.
The SOOBI programme offers trainee teachers the opportunity to expand their teaching practice using micro:bit, while equipping them to run school camps. Fu-Chang OSS foundation help to fund the education and school outreach programmes.
- These worksops help trainee teachers with no previous programming experience gain confidence and expand their teaching practice
- By popular demand, the team launched further introduction to micro:bit courses in spring 2019 with plans to expand further
- The programme has attracted the attention of other universities in neighbouring provinces who want to develop their own similar initiatives with micro:bit
- The SOOBI programme also offers camps to schools who can visit the university or receive a visit from the team
- Schools in rural areas can sign-up to receive a visit to their school for these hands-on workshops which are offered for free
- Children who take part in the camps can borrow micro:bits from their school library
- Depending on their needs, schools may also receive a donation of up to 30 micro:bits, while students also use the online micro:bit simulator to participate
- Trainee teachers from the university programme also receive support from the department to deliver workshops in local schools as volunteers
- CLASSROOM HK has sponsored 16 libraries in Nantou City to support students who wish to borrow micro:bits from their local libraries
Lessons and training materials
- The team designed two games for working with micro:bit using a step counter and radio function: these are the two most popular activities for rural schoolchildren
- Professor Tzeng, of Cheng-Chi University, has written 12 topics for using MicroPython with micro:bit: the most popular is a topic which focuses on ‘micro:bit speech’, an activity which uses Roman Pinyin to make the micro:bit pronounce words like a human
Impact and results
- The SOOBI programme has nurtured 30 micro:bit champion schools in Taiwan
- More than 600 students in 20 rural schools have taken part in micro:bit activities
- 260 teacher trainees have become volunteers following their training as part of the programme
- Due to the success of the programme, universities are now partnering with SOOBI coordinators; from 2019 National Formosa University will bring the initiative to schools in Yunlin and Changchua provinces