New Westminster Secondary School, British Columbia
Lorena Jones of New Westminster Secondary School, Canada, writes about her experience with the micro:bit:
The micro:bits were part of an inquiry project exploring the learning potential of digital makerspaces in high school. As the lead teacher in this project, I worked with all of the Planning 10 classes in my school of 2000 students to introduce them to coding, circuits, and microcontrollers.
I was interested in how computing increased interest in learning and also fostered social skills. Prior to the arrival of the micro: bits, I was fretting about how to teach 30 students how to use arduinos because most students lack a knowledge of how to build circuits. The students had already spent an hour getting used to drag and drop coding using one of the modules in Code.org. I also taught them how to build a parallel circuit using LEDs.
Thankfully, the micro:bits arrived and they were the ideal introduction to microcontrollers because students didn’t need to build a circuit but they still had a change to program LEDs. Having 25 LED’s already connected was an accessible introduction to microcontrollers for students who were beginners in both coding and electronics.
"I've never seen the students work right to the end of the bell in this way before"
Both students and teachers loved the activity. The teacher said that that she had never seen her kids so engaged and they always asked when would be the next time they would use the digital makerspace. A student who was watching the activity take place asked if she could come in her own time to try the micro:bits since we was taking Planning 10 online. Our students loved playing, troubleshooting, discovering shortcuts and helping each other.