The students at Goodna State School were excited to undertake a new unit of learning with the BBC Micro:bit, thanks to element14 and their Great Micro:bit Education Giveaway.
The Australian Curriculum was introduced a few years ago however, the Technologies curriculum does not need to be fully implemented until 2020. Due to this large time frame our school has taken our time to dabble in digital technologies in the classroom, while we continue to run a successful Code Club and Makerspace that started 4 years ago. This is to ensure we are building our own capacity as teachers instead of fumbling along with our students. By bringing this learning into the classroom, we had the students (and teachers) so excited they could hardly contain themselves when the Micro:bits arrived in the mail.
Using Microsoft's Makecode website was easy and allowed students to sign in using their Office 365 account to save their coded projects. The website's tutorials enhanced the first lesson, so that the teachers could focus on the hardware (Micro:bit) and the transferring of data (Hex file), rather than on the code to program the Micro:bit. The students learned all about the Micro:bit's parts; the reset button, microUSB, bluetooth capabilities, magnetmeter, battery connector, edge connector, accelerometer, LED array and both button A and B. After following the very simple tutorial they created a simple flashing heart and spent the remainder of the lesson learning to transfer the Hex file (and their were no tears, from the students or the teachers).
Many students arrived to their second lesson telling their friends and teachers they had been programming the Micro:bit at home and using the simulator to see their code display. I can imagine many students will have Micro:bits on their Christmas lists this year.
Below Mrs Peacock shows her year 3 students her code to have the Micro:bit display a dice array on the LED array when shaken and how to do each step.
This didn't last long before students with extreme concentration took of doing it themselves.
In the next lessons the students used their already coded Micro:bits to record data on paper, transfer it into an excel table and create a graph. The students enjoyed collecting the data from the Micro:bits and did a great job of inputting it all into excel.
The next two lessons the students will be coding the Micro:bits to display morse code, creating their own messages and reading messages from their peers. We cannot wait to complete these lessons.
Below you can find the curriculum overview and unit plan linked back to the Australian Curriculum. I think this unit is a keeper.
Thank you element14 for giving us the opportunity to expand our student's knowledge and understanding of digital technologies with the BBC Micro:bit.