computer science education · micro:bit · research

BBC micro:bit – research project

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology, and is to be given free to every child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK from March 2016. The first devices were sent to teachers (3 per school) before students in order that teachers could prepare to work with them.

The BBC micro:bit device can be plugged into a computing device using a USB cable and programmed using four different programming environments, a block editor, Touch Develop, Python and JavaScript. The BBC micro:bit is part of the BBC’s 2015 Make it Digital initiative and aims to inspire young people to get creative with digital and develop core skills in science, technology and engineering.

The BBC micro:bit has just arrived in school and many teachers will be starting to plan lessons around it. We are looking for a number of teachers to take part in an early evaluation of the BBC micro:bit. The purpose of the evaluation is to find out how teachers are using the micro:bit with Year 7 students in school, to investigate Year 7s perceptions of the micro:bit, investigate links with other STEM subjects, and to assess the affordances of physical computing in the classroom.

Teachers wiling to be interviewed

We are looking for teachers who are willing to participate in a face-to-face interview for 30 minutes in June (or potentially earlier if you received your micro:bits early on). To take part in this study you should be teaching Year 7 And planning to use the micro:bits in your teaching in May and June this year

Year 7 focus groups

We are also looking for a smaller of schools where it may be possible to run some focus groups with students. To meet ethical requirements for educational research, both pupils and their parent/guardians participating will be given full information about the project and will need to sign a consent form.

If you are interested in participating please let me know by filling in this short form. I will then get in touch with you.

The research is being conducted by King’s College London and is funded by Microsoft.