Our reflections on 2023
Micro:bit Educational Foundation had a big year of growth in 2023, with lots of milestones and achievements.
2023 has been a year of growth and development for the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, and our impact continues to grow. Since 2016:
- 44 million students have learned with micro:bit
- 8 million micro:bits have been distributed
Our educational offer has expanded, with more resources and professional development than ever before. We’ve created more useful digital tools for teachers and students to use. The team has grown, to help us us have more conversations with potential partners around the globe. And we have expanded our network of manufacturing and reseller partners, to bring micro:bit to even more people. Here’s some of our highlights.
- Lots of fun new Make it: code it projects, including hot potato, funny voice recorder and secure messaging
- 4 new free professional development courses, including Science exploration with the micro:bit
- Nearly 14k PD course enrolments and nearly 9k new users
- 18 webinars, over 4500 educators registered and received content
- 8 code-alongs, with over 18000 young learners and their teachers
- Relaunched micro:bit classroom
- 5 new languages available across microbit.org and our tools - huge translation efforts from our volunteers this year
- Over 1 million uses of our Python editor in the first year - and we’ve now updated it with NeoPixels
- Working with Microsoft to make exciting updates to the Microsoft MakeCode editor, including a new audio recording and playback extension, easier to use magnetometer and updated 'download' experience.
- Working with Aarhus University to bring machine learning to micro:bit and classrooms around the world
- Updated the ‘meet the micro:bit’ programme and made getting started easier
- BBC micro:bit - the next gen campaign launch, nearly 20k UK primary schools signed up for kits, which were funded by Nominet
- Rollout of micro:bit Live events around the world, in Brazil, Canada, Japan, Spain, Taiwan and USA
- Huge effort in Barcelona, Spain. Including translation of microbit.org into Catalan, working with the Catalan Government to make over 80k micro:bits available in the area, and produce the first micro:bit in-person event in the region, micro:bit Live Barcelona - in partnership with Sistema THEAD, RO-BOTICA, the Catalan Government and Farnell.
- Started a pilot project working with underserved young people in Compton, LA, to build digital creativity skills - funded by OKdo
- Developed a micro:bit curriculum for the Coding for Climate Action pilot scheme by Amazon Future Engineer in the USA - teachers who agreed that the majority of their students understand how computer science and engineering can help protect the planet increased from 23% to 93%
- Developed a comprehensive guide to using the micro:bit in education for British Council India, to support teacher training happening in-country.
- 248 micro:bit Champions across 50 countries around the world doing amazing things in their areas
- European Space Agency, in partnership with DR, modified the micro:bit into an Astro Bit and sent it into space!
- Increased our manufacturing capacity with new lines in Poland, working with our new manufacturing partner OKdo, alongside our established manufacturing partner Farnell.
- Increased our commercial network, adding more resellers globally as well as instigating the channel partners programme so that we can support and collaborate with our trusted partners.
- The Foundation team grew as we strengthened our operations, marketing and development teams, as well as appointing a new Strategic Partnerships Director, who will grow our global partnerships, to achieve the impact and growth we want as an organisation.
As a small company we have huge ambitions, and there’s a lot more we need to do. We can only achieve these goals with the passion and help of our network of fantastic educators and partners around the world. Thanks so much to everyone in the micro:bit community, who continue to inspire every child to create their best digital future.
Gareth Stockdale, CEO, Micro:bit Educational Foundation
We’re looking forward to making 2024 even bigger together.