Getting to Know Education Technology: The micro:bit

  • Published: Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022

Most education technology can be intimidating to learn, and that is putting it gently. Many of these learning tools appear to require a degree in computer science or an exhaustive onboarding to understand the tool, not to mention often coming with a hefty price tag. Never fear; the answer has come. Enter the micro:bit.

The BBC micro:bit is a way to help students think, communicate and play using this powerful, yet compact, device. The micro:bit aims to give all learners (from kindergarten to secondary) a platform for creating digital work for themselves or to share with others. The micro:bit costs less than a couple of large pizzas and can go a long way to providing an outlet for sparking creativity. Learners are able to create programs such as a chase game or use radio channels to communicate to other devices nearby.

At roughly the size of a credit card, the micro:bit comes equipped with two functioning buttons used to provide an input to any program being created. The 8x8 LED display has two main functions: it can be used to display text or an image, but the LEDs can also be used to detect light in the environment. The micro:bits have sensors collecting data on acceleration, temperature and compass location. There are also features such as radio connectivity and physical pins to connect to that allow for some amazing projects. There are also speakers and listening capability.

The micro:bit classroom provides a way for educators to collect student work and monitor their progress. With learners using the classroom, teachers can share coding projects to kickstart activities. When the classroom activity wraps, the educator can save all of the coding files that are associated with their students or class.

To learn more about the scalable, adaptable and affordable BBC micro:bit, visit the MOREnet Training Schedule and search for Exploring Computer Science and How To Teach WITH It. This full-day class is a way to join a hands-on professional development opportunity geared towards enhancing computers science education in Missouri.