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Microbit ?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by madcat, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    All set for the October launch then, folks ?
     
  2. sparklemotion

    sparklemotion New commenter

    I'm looking forward to this with unusual optimism. What's the rollout procedure for these? Will they be sent to schools automatically or do we need to register for them? I've struggled to find any registration online so I assume that they'll send them automatically...
     
  3. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Eventually found this link

    I couldn't say that any of this information inspired me with confidence about the roll out of this project
     
  4. "The Raspberry Pi has been an amazing success"

    <h1>Complete rubbish!!!</h1>
    The pi has been an abject failure from my experience, with very few schools and even less teachers having the time, space or budget to actually use these in the classroom. I will go further and say that while I know a number of teachers who got hold of one, I know of no teacher who then turned this into any block of lessons in the classroom. Unless, of course, anyone can point me to some independent evidence that contradicts this.

    "The BBC says it will be working closely with teachers over the summer and the autumn"

    So closely, in fact, that with just a few days to the Summer Hols, I have had nothing sent to me, have been given no information whatsoever and have had no details about training, resources or events. In fact, this is the usual pile of sh*t that follows a strangely familiar pattern; a private, profits-based company (ScienceScope in this case, funded by the BBC) convince ministers first what a great idea it is, trumpets the idea with maximum publicity (using the BBC to publicise this, the very organisation that funded this project) with many promises of support in schools, and then leave teachers completely in the dark for the next few years. It never changes. This will fail.

    This is not what people pay their TV licence for. Neither should the power of the BBC's reporting machine be used in this way to promote a private enterprise, throwing all journalistic standards out the window in the process.
     
  5. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    alevelteacher, I fear you've hit the nail on the head. With the appropriate back-up and resources for us to review and use to prepare lessons, this could be a useful 'in' for coding. However, we only have 7 days left this term. I'm now expected to constantly monitor the bbc website to be first in the queue to register (because our parents will be clamouring for it - it is a freebie after all) to get the things, and maybe lucky enough to see some resources so I might be able to spend my holidays re-organising the Year 7 curriculum, working out what I'm going to drop for this.

    School know nothing of this. If I hadn't shown my HoD (whose on SLT) no-one but me in school would know about it.

    Which then brings me to the resources. have any of us been involved in the resources planning and mapping to NC process? Have CAS been involved? Or even (shiver down spine) NAACE? It won't surprise me to see these resources being completely inadequate and the planning to be unsatisfactory, as it'll be done by a bunch of 'want-to-be' teachers (companies that want to make money from education without the getting-your-hands-dirty-at-the-coalface lot).

    Also, what happens if the little darlings break them, or lose them? It's year 7 after all!

    And as far as journalistic integrity goes, in the week Gorgeous George Osborne (irony folks) complains the BBC website is too big and over-powerful, it will be interesting to see if they post the comment I just made on the link page Madcat gave (along the lines of the above, but much shorter).

    So, nice idea, corrupted by money grabbing opportunists who will fail to provide the kit and resources in the correct time frame, stifling any opportunity we had to use these for the improvement of our subject. Typically British approach!!!
     
  6. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    Seems the site moderators are willing to hear both sides of the story
     
  7. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    Just scanning CAS site as I haven't had new resources email for 2 weeks now and found this

    community.computingatschool.org.uk/.../3734

    which is a pdf lesson plan for use with micro:bit (as they're calling it)). maybe lesson outline rather than lesson plan as you have to access other documents to see what it is you do (i.e. Task 1 - see www.goo.ll/ etc etc etc)
     
  8. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Having had a closer look at the new spec.. of these micro:bits (I assume the colon is some sort of copyright thing) They are even more like micro-controllers than before.

    So as I have previously stated these will have much more scope within the confines of the D&T dept. - how many soldering irons have you got in your IT rooms. So just direct the parcel of devices to them and let them get on with distributing them etc etc.

    Can't comment on the CAS stuff as I am still excluded from the courts that illustrious organisation. - just remind me how much government money have they got so far ?
     
  9. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I love Computing, but I'm struggling to see the point of devices such as this and the Raspberry Pi in the context of the Computing classroom. What areas of the National Curriculum (as it's aimed at year 7) is it supposed to address?

    There's that Dijkstra quote that people use - "Computing is as much about computers as astronomy is about telescopes" - and this appears to be going in the opposite direction by trying to make it hardware focussed.

    The success of the Raspberry Pi, given the Royal Mail example, and the number of people in AV forums who use them as media renderers/players, is as a cheap computing device, rather than as a teaching tool.
     
  10. Taff187

    Taff187 New commenter

    I think its great - a device that is wearable by pupils and can flash up whatever rude messages they want on a simple LCD screen and then blame the ICT/Computing department for teaching them how. What to$$er thought up such a stupid idea for schools?
     
  11. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    The same to$$er who then removed the on-board battery so they couldn't just use it like that... unless the SPENT MONEY buying the battery pack case
     
  12. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Whole thing is just a money making exercise for some Eton pal of Osborne.

    No training, teaching materials or lesson ideas. Useless and pointless.

    Except for whoever is bagging some serious coin.
     
  13. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter

    It's not for us and it's not a tool to build a scheme of work around. I don't think anybody ever said it was. 11-12 year olds are receiving them through schools because it's the most efficient form of delivery: it's not for us to require them all to bring them in for 6 weeks for a unit of learning.

    It's for the STUDENTS and it's a huge net being cast amongst all young people, with the hope of enthusing some of them to investigate it further.

    I'll be running a Code Club in one form or another next year and invite students in. I'll buy a few cheap motors and LEDs and see what we can get going - it will be led by the students with THEIR device and we'll see how we do. I'm sure there will be lots of failures and headscratching, but if I can excite and enthuse one student then I'll deem it a success.
     
  14. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter

    Just re-read the thread. Seriously, why are some of you teachers? It's pretty clear you hate the profession, the subject and young people in general. Why are you still in it - just so you can come on here and have a good moan? Lighten up!
     
  15. Well said Tjra.

    I think it could be quite good actually, and I'm looking forward to them arriving. In my new school which has little money this is well timed.

    My only question is what programming language it uses. I have dabbled a bit with the engduinos which are neat little devices and quite similar (but they do have on board batteries), but the programming language is like c and therefore too hard for youngsters starting out. They have now created a scratchlike language in response to this.

    Does anyone know what the micro:bit language is?
     
  16. rubikwizard

    rubikwizard New commenter

    "Does anyone know what the micro:bit language is?"

    It can be programmed in a scratch-like language. Here is a link to an emulator for an early prototype. I believe it can also be programmed textually but am not sure of the language but guess it will be a form of C.
     
  17. Thanks rubikwizard, it looks OK to me.

    Anyone else also feeling positive about this?
     
  18. olderandwiser

    olderandwiser Occasional commenter

    No.

    This is a story reported on by the BBC, about a BBC-funded project. It is a shoddy piece of reporting which pushes the boundary of reporting ethics. The **** they are talking up could make a lot of money for the BBC and the private company, has nothing whatsoever to do with making TV programs, is being poorly managed, with teachers and schools being kept in the dark. Throwing thousands of these things at kids and schools in the way they are is a disgusting waste of public money.

    The BBC are bang out of order with this.
     
  19. rubikwizard

    rubikwizard New commenter

    "Just re-read the thread. Seriously, why are some of you teachers? It's pretty clear you hate the profession, the subject and young people in general. Why are you still in it - just so you can come on here and have a good moan? Lighten up!"

    I used to visit these forums frequently a few years ago for helpful advice and discussion but for the last few years nearly every single thread is dominated by negative people or trolls, who have nothing productive to offer genuine questions. It is not a nice place to visit and any young teacher will be put off by the constant cynicism and moaning.
     
  20. AyeTea

    AyeTea New commenter

    colwynexile "Just scanning CAS site as I haven't had new resources email for 2 weeks now and found this"

    Google decided recently to block all my CAS communications as SPAM for no reason and had to whitelist.
     

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