"Creating Cool Stuff": Pupils' Experience of the BBC micro:bit

  title={"Creating Cool Stuff": Pupils' Experience of the BBC micro:bit},
  author={Sue Sentance and Jane Waite and Steve Hodges and Emily MacLeod and Lucy Yeomans},
  journal={Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education},
  • Sue Sentance, Jane Waite, L. Yeomans
  • Published 8 March 2017
  • Education
  • Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
The recent introduction of computer science (CS) education into schools in many countries has led to a surge in interest in programming tools and approaches which make CS concepts and tasks engaging, motivating and accessible to all. There is renewed interest in supporting learning through physical computing, which has been shown to be motivational whilst offering opportunities for collaboration and creativity. Within this context the BBC recently led a collaborative venture in the UK to… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Teaching with physical computing devices: the BBC micro:bit initiative
An analysis of the varied ways in which teachers are using the BBC micro:bit is presented, and a range of instructional styles are noted, which will be useful to teachers and teacher educators wishing to work more effectively with physical computing in the classroom.
Teaching with physical computing in school: the case of the micro:bit
The study revealed that the most commonly used teaching methods with this physical computing device were live coding demonstrations, pair programming, discussion, collaborative work and tinkering, although strategies teachers used did not always align to what they felt was effective.
Designing and coding with BBC micro:bit to solve a real-world task – a challenging movement between contexts
Pupils’ ways of experiencing the process of solving a real-world task with a programming material are investigated, and the importance of appreciating the BBC micro:bit context and the real- world context in relation to the dual nature of PTS is suggested.
Enhancing the Teaching of Informatics through Engaging Experience
It is concluded that relatively simple teaching aid, mobile devices, special hardware, and well-designed online programming activities could help to explain even abstract computer science underlying concepts through the experience sometimes more effectively than through instructional model.
Empowering learners with tools in CS education: Physical computing in secondary schools
An overview of computer science education research related to tools and media to be used in educational settings is given with a special focus on the categorization and development of tools for student adequate physical computing activities in the classroom.
Engage Your Students via Physical Computing!
  • M. Cápay, N. Klimová
  • Computer Science, Education
    2019 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON)
  • 2019
Using BBC micro:bit is the right decision for those who want the powerful device to learn programming and to understand the principles of how the hardware works at the same time.
Learning with Robots in CS and STEM Education: A Case Study with ISEP-R0B0
The design of ISEP-R0B0 is introduced, a project which combines a small programmable robot and a visual programming language into a full-fledged system at a very low cost, targeting schools but also informal learning situations such as after-class activities.
Discovering student projects in the do your :bit challenge: A demo session introducing student projects using the programmable BBC micro:bit device to solve for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Aimee Fagan
  • Computer Science
    6th FabLearn Europe / MakeEd Conference 2022
  • 2022
This demo session will offer an overview of some such innovations, designed by young people to address a series of goals, designed using the BBC micro:bit device.
Towards using computational modeling in learning of physical computing: An observational study in Singapore schools
The findings show that much of students’ interaction with sensors and devices is at pre-CT level, where students simply use pre-existing code fragments or templates, which suggests that Computational Modeling (CM) could help students develop their CT skills e.g. abstraction, decomposition, and algorithmic approach much more than the minimally guided syntax driven teaching approaches.
Designing a Middle School Science Curriculum that Integrates Computational Thinking and Sensor Technology
The affordances of using a sensor platform to support the integration of disciplinary learning and computational thinking (CT) aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and the CT in STEM Taxonomy developed by Weintrop and colleagues are examined.


Challenge and creativity: using .NET gadgeteer in schools
The research found that the tangible nature of the .NET Gadgeteer modules helped to engage the students in becoming creative, and that students valued challenges with which they were not usually presented within the curriculum.
Microsoft Touch Develop and the BBC micro:bit
It is described how Microsoft's Touch Develop programming platform works with the BBC micro:bit and the software engineering hurdles that had to be overcome to ensure it was as accessible as possible to children and teachers.
.NET gadgeteer: a new platform for K-12 computer science education
The features of a new physical device prototyping platform called Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer are presented along with initial experiences using it to teach computer science in high schools and the results indicate that the tangible and expressive nature of Gadgeteer helps to engage and motivate a diverse set of students.
Tangible Media Approaches to Introductory Computer Science
Two graduate- level courses are designed and implemented, one using a Pixelsense and the other using Arduino, to teach computational thinking, programming, and design skills, with specific focus on non-major graduate students.
Do tangible interfaces enhance learning?
  • P. Marshall
  • Computer Science
    Tangible and Embedded Interaction
  • 2007
An analytic framework of six perspectives is provided, which describes latent trends and assumptions that might be used to motivate and guide this work, and makes links with existing research in cognitive science and education.
Papert's prison fab lab: implications for the maker movement and education design
In the context of the 2013 Interaction Design and Children focus on DIY/maker culture, the overlooked work of the Constructionist Learning Laboratory the work of Papert, Stager and their colleagues is particularly pertinent.
Restart: The Resurgence of Computer Science in UK Schools
A national network of teaching excellence which is being set up to combat the issue of insufficient numbers of teachers is described, and the other challenges that lie ahead of computer science in UK schools are described.
The MoveLab: Developing Congruence Between Students' Self-Concepts and Computing
It was found that creating multiple roles for participation, fostering a socially supportive community, and integrating student values within the curriculum led to students forming congruence between their self-concept and the disciplines of computing and dance.
Tangible interaction and learning: the case for a hybrid approach
This paper advocates for a hybrid approach—one that offers teachers and learners the flexibility to select the most appropriate interaction style to meet the needs of a specific situation.
Teaching programming using bricolage
This paper illustrates how to apply a bricolage approach to teaching students to program, and discusses its success in a course called, The Art and Science of Animation.