Nominet and the Micro:bit Educational Foundation are launching a new piece of research and programme of support for primary school teachers in the UK. The research into the teaching of digital skills and creativity will help inform the subsequent education programme, featuring Professional Development, resources and a BBC micro:bit donation, and support teachers in teaching these essential skills.
Funded by Nominet, as part of its overall commitment to democratising technology and broadening young people’s access to successful digital futures, the research will investigate teachers’ experiences of this subject area. It will explore the opportunities and challenges they experience, and the potential benefits of physical computing and using micro:bit – a pocket-sized computer that introduces children to computing and computational thinking.
This will enable the subsequent programme of activity to properly support primary school teachers to deliver inspiring and impactful lessons using the micro:bit. The programme, which will launch in 2022, will feature teacher professional development and classroom resources. Primary teachers across the UK can follow the micro:bit social channels and website (@microbit_edu and www.microbit.org) for more information on the programme in Spring 2022.
The research study starts in September 2021 and the Foundation is working with education partners across the UK to recruit teachers to take part – in England, Computing at School (CAS), in Northern Ireland, the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA), in Scotland, Education Scotland and in Wales, the Central South Consortium (CSC).
Adam Leach, CTO, Nominet, said: “Nominet is delighted to be funding this research programme to better understand the obstacles and opportunities presented to teachers who are using micro:bit in classrooms all over the UK. It will provide valuable insight that will support them in their mission to inspire and educate children to learn new digital skills. The purpose of our public benefit programme is to fund initiatives like micro:bit which work towards closing the digital skills gap and ensuring a bright future for the UK’s digital workforce.”
Gareth Stockdale, CEO, Micro:bit Educational Foundation said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Nominet to understand the primary teaching needs around digital skills. The research will allow us to understand the experiences of primary teachers and then provide a rich and relevant programme of support for them. The BBC micro:bit is a fantastic learning tool for primary age children and we are so excited to be able to give teachers access to the device and support them to use it in the classroom”.
The Micro:bit Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to inspire every child to create their best digital future. A micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that uses industry standard hardware to teach young people digital skills and creativity. It has a range of features including an LED display, motion, temperature and light sensors and a compass. It has wireless communication using radio and Bluetooth which can be programmes to send and receive data between devices. A micro:bit is programmed using free software editors – the block-based and text language of MakeCode and the text-based Python language to introduce students to programming and the relationship between software and hardware design.
For more information, visit www.microbit.org
Nominet is driven by a commitment to use technology to improve connectivity, security and inclusivity online. For 25 years, Nominet has run the UK internet infrastructure, developing an expertise in the Domain Name System (DNS) that now underpins sophisticated threat monitoring, detection, prevention, and analytics that is used by governments and enterprises to mitigate cyber threats. Our public benefit programme aims to improve the lives of one million people, providing support and opportunities to tackle some of the most important digital issues facing young people in the UK today. www.nominet.uk