Recently I attended the BETT Show, which is branded as the largest education technology event in the country. I was invited as a guest of Kitronik, who are part of the 29 organization consortium led by the BBC that are launching the micro.bit platform.
The platform aims to encourage young people to get into coding and technology by providing 1 million school children with the kit free of charge. They’re also providing all sorts of teaching support and so on to encourage people to get building some cool things with the platform.
With partners ranging from Samsung to ARM, the IET to Lancaster University, the project has a number of possibilities for growing and expanding its offering in the coming years.
Getting youngsters coding
They’re clearly tapping into the Zeitgeist of trying to get more young people interested in coding however. Another project attempting similar things is Math and Coding, a NGO that’s run by school children.
They offer a range of peer-to-peer workshops in the Bay Area (where else?). The venture was established by 15 year old school friends Nikhil Cheerla and Vineet Kosaraju, and they have already provided coding support for over 1,000 students.
The teachers are young children aged 13 and above who have a knack for programming in areas such as java and Visual. They offer free courses to their peers, with the end goal being that the students are capable of developing everything from websites to apps.
The site is hoping to encourage others to setup similar self-help groups in their own communities, with Math and Coding providing a range of support and resources to help these satellite groups get off the ground.
It’s a nice approach as I’m sure learning from ones peers is an effective way to pick up new skills, and of course to further develop the skills of the teachers themselves.