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BBC Radio Bristol Presenter Emma Britton with students at King's Oak Academy

King's Oak Academy get exclusive preview of BBC micro:bit

While micro:bit is rolled out across the UK, a Bristol primary was one of the first schools in its region to use it

Posted by Stephanie Broad | April 04, 2016 | Technology

Pupils at Bristol’s King’s Oak Academy got an exclusive preview of the BBC’s micro:bit as it is rolled out across the UK to around one million 11 year-olds.  

Launched as part of the BBC Make it Digital initiative, the BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized codeable computer that allows young people to get creative with technology, whatever their level of experience, and aims to help develop a new generation of digital pioneers. They will be delivered free to every year seven student in England and Wales, year eight students in Northern Ireland and S1 students in Scotland.

Students can programme their BBC micro:bit to become anything they want – from simple games to smart watches and even fitness trackers – all by using one of the code editors at www.microbit.co.uk, or the mobile app, and by connecting it to other devices and sensors. The website also features a range of resources and tutorials to help teachers, parents and students take advantage of the BBC micro:bit’s vast potential.  

BBC micro:bits will be delivered nationwide through schools, and made available to home-schooled students, over the next few weeks but they will be owned by the students. This allows students to keep their device as they move up through the school, and to continue bringing their ideas to life outside of school and term time. 

Some additional BBC micro:bits have been included in the rollout to enable teachers to extend their BBC micro:bit lessons to students in other year groups, giving the BBC micro:bit partnership an even better chance of inspiring an entire generation.

Marie Fisher, IT teacher at King’s Oak Academy said: “I would like to thank the BBC for giving us the opportunity to be one of the first schools in our region access to this amazing piece of IT. The students have really engaged with micro:bit and have produced some excellent work already. This project will enable our students to be at the forefront of technology in the classroom and we hope it will inspire our students to become the next generation of entrepreneurial digital pioneers.   

Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning, said: “The BBC micro:bit has seemingly limitless potential, especially when paired with other hardware, and we can’t wait to see what students will do with it. They’ve already come up with all kinds of ideas during testing and at events around the country – some ideas help solve some of life’s daily challenges, some could have business potential, and others are just great fun. Teachers have been quick to embrace it too, which is so important to the success of the project, and they have already made valuable additions to our online resources.”

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