Digital skills research: Micro:bit Educational Foundation

The Micro:bit Educational Foundation approached Unthinkable in spring 2018 to ask for our help in carrying out research and consultation around the teaching and learning of digital skills, with a view to developing a new generation of resources to support this.

Being obsessive about learning and digital skills, as well as parents and micro:bit owners ourselves, we were very pleased to work with the Foundation on this project, which follows earlier research we carried out for the BBC when it was developing the micro:bit and planning for its distribution.

We pursued three different research methodologies, interviewing a range of teachers, creating an online survey and facilitating a workshop involving educators, academics and industry experts in discussions and co-design exercises to develop some seed ideas for the Foundation to develop in the next phase of its work. In doing so we were able to draw on our work with FutureLearn developing the learning agenda around digital skills and education.

The workshop in particular was a fascinating exercise, hearing directly from teachers about the front-line challenges of trying to match their ambitions and aspirations for their pupils’ learning with the reality and constraints of the curriculum, classroom space, equipment and school budgets. Despite all that, we produced some really inspiring results together and very much look forward to seeing the ideas come to fruition.