BBC micro:bit - the next gen: groundbreaking initiative announced
UK digital creativity and computing education to receive major boost as BBC Education, Micro:bit Educational Foundation and Nominet join forces again to deliver free micro:bits to primary schools.
BBC micro:bit – the next gen: a new partnership between BBC Education, Micro:bit Educational Foundation and the guardians of the .UK domain, Nominet, today announces an ambitious UK-wide project that aims to inspire primary school children to get more confident with technology and digital skills.
- BBC micro:bit – the next gen campaign will offer free micro:bits to all primary schools across the UK. The donation of almost 700,000 devices funded by the UK registry, Nominet, provides 30 free devices per school alongside free education resources and teacher training
- This ambitious project is committed to equipping primary schools with the tools and resources to promote computational thinking, inspire digital creativity and enrich the curriculum with pioneering machine learning lessons
- BBC Education is amplifying this campaign with broadcast and live content that raises awareness of the importance of digital skills education to prepare primary school pupils for the digital world
UK-wide donation & how to register
The partnership will offer a classroom set of 30 BBC micro:bits and brand-new teaching resources to every primary school across the UK. From today, all primary schools can register below, and will receive a set of devices and resource pack between September 2023 and March 2024.
Boosting future digital careers
The strategic partnership is a response to research suggesting that 65% of primary school children will end up working in jobs that do not exist today. BBC micro:bit – the next gen will support primary school children and teachers in this transition to future digital careers by accelerating computational thinking, programming, digital creativity and machine learning skills.
Increasing teacher knowledge & confidence
The campaign builds upon the Micro:bit Educational Foundation’s three-phase national programme and primary pilot project – in collaboration with Nominet – that has focused on understanding the challenges facing UK primary teachers and improving digital skills education in primary classrooms.
Research done in collaboration with Nominet last year found that teachers feel overwhelmingly unprepared and lack confidence when teaching digital skills. 61% of UK primary teachers responsible for teaching computing have no background in the subject, while 3 in 5 also cited a lack of resources as a major barrier. This campaign aims to increase teacher knowledge and confidence and empower educators with a toolkit of quality, proven devices, lesson plans and inspiration ideas.
Free training and resources
Along with the delivery of the micro:bits, teachers will also be supported with a roll-out of virtual teacher training delivered by the Micro:bit Educational Foundation and training partners from each of the nations. In September 2023, a suite of cross-curricular resources, including an array of inspiring classroom activities to get children coding with their new BBC micro:bits, will be released. Use of micro:bits will also be encouraged, with the help of favourite CBBC and family entertainment brands, showcasing the capabilities of the micro:bit, and how simple and accessible it is for teachers to use in the classroom.
The power of partnership
Our research with Nominet and experience show that the earlier children can learn core digital skills, the better.
Gareth Stockdale, CEO of Micro:bit Educational Foundation
BBC Education is in a unique position to bring its education and tech partners together to help all primary schoolchildren across the UK to shape their best digital futures, as well as support teachers to implement digital skills into the curriculum.
Helen Foulkes, Head of BBC Education
We’re incredibly proud of this initiative – as a public benefit company committed to using tech for good – this programme can improve young lives through new opportunity and could inspire millions to embrace their digital futures.
Paul Fletcher, CEO, Nominet
To find out more about the micro:bit and how it can be used in schools visit What is the micro:bit?
To keep track of the exciting developments and upcoming events visit BBC micro:bit - the next gen
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