Micro:Bits in the Primary Classroom

I attended an excellent hands-on workshop with the BBC Micro:Bit at an RM Seminar at the back end of 2016.  I forget who it was that lead that session, (though it might have been Stuart Ball).

In the session we were told, anecdotally, that the Micro:Bits had originally been intended for Year 6 pupils and although I had dismissed them it became immediately apparent that they are eminently usable by all Key Stage 2 pupils using the blocks editor which is very like Scratch!

I had spent many years wandering in the wilderness (well around Bett) looking for that perfect storm of a computer-controllable device which didn’t break the bank and was suitable for Primary Schools – it suddenly looked as if I had found it!

At only £15 including VAT for a starter kit from Kitronik they really seem a no-brainer!  Combine that with the Inventors kit for less than £25 or the Line Following Buggy for less than only £27 they are truly flexible, adaptable and cheap!

I must mention here that I am not on commission (I wish I was) and that I don’t work for Kitronik but they have been really helpful and supportive and I enjoyed meeting them at Bett 2017.

Since investing in a class set of these I have really enjoyed introducing them to pupils from year 3-6 (aged 7-11) starting with the virtual experience programming the online emulator (free to do at http://microbit.org/code/) before watching their faces light up as they successfully transfer a program to the actual physical thing and it lights-up before their eyes!

We started simple, basic scrolling text controlled by a variety of inputs.  We moved on to the basic Dice program before exploring other dice options.  We then created our own compass and even moved into controlling an eco-house created from an old dolls house and using the Inventors Kit.

Light-Controlled_Lamp_MicroBit

Whether your computing platform is PC, Chromebook or iPad based (yes they work via bluetooth too) if you are looking for something to control on a budget then I would HIGHLY recommend the Micro:Bit!

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Making 60 Second Shakespeare performances with the BBC

Check out this site for support and ideas for creating your own 60 second Shakespeare interpretation…

“Creating your own interpretation of Shakespeare in one minute – make a film or audio, take a scene or whole play, keep it classic or make it modern, it’s up to you.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/shakespeare/60secondshakespeare/index.shtml

Online safety push for five-year-olds

This article published by the BBC today explains the campaign launched by CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection team) to educate 5-year-olds about the risks of online grooming via cartoon-based resources.  The article includes some interesting facts including the fact that according to Ofcom it is suggested that 80% of five to seven-year-olds use the internet and that among nine to eleven-year olds, 94% do so.

For a look at the new resources please visit http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/leeandkim/default.aspx

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