Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Tessa Gray
    My first play with Microbits
    31 July
    Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

    Just been playing with Micro:bits. Loving the potential for this accessory (around $30NZ) to show correlations in CTDT and DDDO because:

    • Correlations between tools and plug-ins, but you don’t need the accessory as you can see the Micro:bit working on screen
    • Video support and other resources online
    • See links with Scratch
    • Easy to follow instructions, easy to use
    • Demonstrates how one computer programme talks to another
    • Demonstrates the electronic components/circuitry of computers
    • Price is accessible, especially for small group instruction

    Can see the potential students to play or tutu in free play sand pit time (with little direction from the teacher), so they can find out the elements and tools within the programme themselves and then create some teachable moments with problem solving tasks in mind. Can also see the potential for transference and opportunities to apply their learning to different contexts.

    Can be purchase these from Mindkits and PBtech. Also see:

    Anyone else bought these and playing with these already? I'd love to hear how you're using them and in what contexts.

    Microbit

    @Nicki.Tempero1  I often throw up photos/videos of students in action at facebook.com/techleapnz. Today they had a lot of fun with playdough, microbits and Scratch beta.

    - By Geoff Bentley
    NOTE: You have to be a member of the group in order to reply to a discussion
      • Geoff Bentley
        By Geoff Bentley
        Sep 11

        @Nicki.Tempero1  I often throw up photos/videos of students in action at facebook.com/techleapnz. Today they had a lot of fun with playdough, microbits and Scratch beta.

        • Tessa Gray
          By Tessa Gray
          Aug 28

          Kia ora again @Laura.Butler, loving the energy! I agree with Nicki, scaffolding ways for your students to engage with existing code and then building on it, makes sense to me. It's all about finding patterns, in fact I do this daily with HTML code.

          I'm also loving your idea about building in a design thinking process to respond to 'real world' problems or global issues. ie: Being able to use the tools/accessories (Miro:bits) to complete activities and then adapt those tools/accessories to respond to new problems. For example, how else could we use a Micro:bit pedometer to track sleep apnia?

          • Nicki Tempero
            By Nicki Tempero
            Aug 28

            Kia ora  @Laura.Butler,  always had to get good photos and even harder to remember to take them!

            I think is ok to scaffold activities what ever way you need to support the students and to keep the interest there .Ive pre loaded activities for teachers just for a starting point to add to and to debug( if necessary) and then give them a chance to start from the beginning when they are ready.

            :)

            • Laura Butler
              By Laura Butler
              Aug 24

              Nicki - I've tried twice to get some pics but something keeps coming up- I'll try again Monday.

              Everyone - I am wondering if it is pedagogically sound to pre-load a simple piece of code and have my juniors add to/change it then run it? They love the Microbits but some who struggle with reading/writing get frustrated easily. Would be kind of like modeled reading and writing, but I wonder if I am missing a reason not to go down this path?

              Thanks,

              Laura

              • Nicki Tempero
                By Nicki Tempero
                Aug 20

                So good to hear about microbits being used with juniors :) 

                These may be of use - 

                https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/bbc-microbit-beginner-projects/
                Fitness bands https://goo.gl/ZKnnCG 
                Hack your hat https://goo.gl/34tKUN
                Hack your Shoes #1 https://goo.gl/5FJkc1
                Hack your Shoes #2 https://goo.gl/KvvhZK
                Virtual Pets https://goo.gl/Lxa7sP
                Treasure Hunt https://goo.gl/C2Wv3T
                Digital / Physical animation https://goo.gl/zWE2Rx

                Also check out twitter -  https://twitter.com/microbit_edu

                Does anyone have photos or video clips of your students using the microbits 

                • Geoff Bentley
                  By Geoff Bentley
                  Aug 15

                  Thanks for sharing, @Laura.Butler - good to know your Y0-Y2s were into it! 

                  • Laura Butler
                    By Laura Butler
                    Aug 15

                    Kia Ora Tessa / Geoff,

                    I have Year 0 -Year 2. I took a bit of a teacher-led approach to introducing the Microbit, to be honest. I plugged the micro-bit into a Chromebook in the morning before school started and as kids asked what it was I showed them the block-based programming interface and asked them to choose an input and a basic message (most naturally chose shake/push a button and their name, some tried a shape with the LEDs). We talked about input and output. They took to the idea of downloading a programme quickly (note to self: drop and drag is a lot easier for younger kids with a mouse, not a trackpad, I hadn't thought that through the first time). Some were amazed that they could unplug it and shake it/push a button to make their message appear, some clearly were not impressed with how 'low tech' it was, haha.

                    I was then able quickly show a TA and had 4-5 kids who could show the others by the time we actually looked at it in class, which was very useful. Interestingly these were not the same kids who naturally took to our binary code activities.

                    We have an off-timetable tech week in week 6 so my plan was to let them play with it in the morning until w6, then we can go more into what the sensors do, but I'm open to ideas. Before w6, I want to see if they can have it not work (eg if they forget to connect the 'blocks') and use our de-bugging strategies to work through it. I'm thinking the soil moisture project might be good, working through our design thinking process (they could solve the very real problem that I forget to water my plants!)

                    At code club next week I plan to just hand them out (I've ordered some more now I can see their use). Code Clubbers are naturally able to Google/Youtube and find projects for themselves a lot easier.

                    Great tip Geoff - alas we are Ipads and Chromebook based, that said they actually took to download the file/moving to the Microbit a lot better than I expected.

                    Would be very keen to hear of others experiences, especially if anyone has a class blog etc so I can show our kids what others have done.

                    • Geoff Bentley
                      By Geoff Bentley
                      Aug 15

                      Kia ora Laura & Tessa,

                      I've switched to micro:bits with Yrs 6-10 in my STEAM clubs, and they're a much gentler introduction to electronics/sensors/coding than Arduinos.

                      I find discussing the inputs (sensors) and outputs (e.g. LEDs) one at a time useful, making connections with their uses in the real world, and brainstorming potential uses (both fun/creative/silly and useful/pragmatic) a good way to engage and embed those concepts, which we then use to dive in and explore/code using those inputs/outputs.

                      These can be tied to particular inquiries, for example, exploring the motion sensors when looking at earthquakes, or the light sensors when thinking about our eyes or the sun or photosynthesis.

                      At a Yr2 level, I would try and keep things play-based, exploring our senses, with minor involvement on the tech side - really just promoting the understanding that it's possible for things we make to have senses, and discuss any wonderings which arise from that.

                      Hot Tip: Windows Store App

                      If students are using Windows (not common at primary level, I know), the MakeCode app for Microbits on the Windows Store has 3 advantages over its web counterpart:

                      1. Code is downloaded to the connected microbit automatically, without needing to drag & drop from a file explorer (a common problem for students)
                         
                      2. You can get feedback from the microbit sensors (using Serial blocks) directly in the app, without needing to download another application such as PuTTy.
                         
                      3. No internet required

                      Hope that's useful - feel free to ping me if any Qs pop up while you're exploring!

                      Ngā mihi,

                      Geoff @ TechLeap

                      PS: I recommend Learning Developments as a source for all things micro:bitty! I'm not affliated - they're just cheaper!

                      • Tessa Gray
                        By Tessa Gray
                        Aug 14

                        Kia ora @Laura.Butler, awesome I'm glad the simple sharing has helped. Any other top tips about tools and how they can be integrated in lessons are welcome!

                        I see you have Year 2's - I'd be interested to hear how are you're planning on introducing the microbits to them? Do you have some budding gurus or 'techie angels' you can use to help you? smiley

                        • Laura Butler
                          By Laura Butler
                          Aug 12

                          Hi Tessa / Melissa,

                          Nothing really to add but just thought I'd pass on that you inspired me to give these a go - ordered one, and managed to get it to display my name upon shaking it last night - I'm sure our code club kids will be much more adventurous with them haha!

                          Thanks again!

                          Laura

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