Micro:bit's Macro Influence
One of the most exciting developments during my time working as an educator and coach in British Colombia has been the province’s implementation of the new Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies curriculum for K-12 students. As a long-time advocate of hands-on, creative learning and problem solving with educational technology in the classroom, I’m enthusiastic about the new approach for Coquitlam. Our district’s partnership with Fair Chance Learning has provided a way to further foster project-based learning and computational thinking skills with vital learning tools like micro:bit.
I’ve been passionate about incorporating the micro:bit as a learning tool because it provides students with an opportunity to learn how to code, and to learn through coding. Furthermore, it allows students to engage in solving real-world problems in in an interactive way. Among all Canadian school districts, School District 43 Coquitlam has invested the most in micro:bits and I couldn’t be more proud and pleased with the incredible learning outcomes. Since implementing micro:bits in classrooms we have witnessed our students develop ideas to respond to real-world issues they care about, then code and create a solution.
At Coquitlam we have extended our use of the micro:bit by introducing accessories that increase their capabilities. These additions include sensors, speakers, and motor driver boards. As part of their culminating science project, we asked our grade 8 students to use the micro:bit to self-track their hours spent on their project and to incorporate the micro:bit in their project to demonstrate their learning. Their science projects covered lessons in soil moisture, temperature, motion and more.
I’ve been passionate about incorporating micro:bits into our classrooms because I believe students can really benefit from this learning tool. With the micro:bit I’ve seen students gain valuable skills and insights in computer science, coding, programming, and so much more. I’ve witnessed students create and discover, learn and share, empathize and communicate, recognize problems and develop solutions. I’ve seen what education is really about, and I’m excited to continue being part of that experience by incorporating micro:bits in our schools.
About the Author:
Hi there, I’m Dave Sands. I’m based in Vancouver, love technology and all things digital. I’m currently working as the Principal of Technology Implementation at School District 43 Coquitlam and am interested in digital citizenship. I received my Bachelor’s degrees at McMaster and Queen’s University and finished my Master’s degree in Education at Simon Fraser University. I’m passionate about education and empowering students as they engage with new and exciting educational technology in their learning experiences.
This post is part of a series dedicated to celebrating computer science education. Watch for a new computer science-focused post every day during Computer Science Education Week to inspire you to try coding and deepen your learning through coding.