About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8425-8433
Publication year: 2020
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.2290

Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain

BUILDING A BETTER MICRO:BIT IDE – TEACHING COMPUTER SCIENCE

M. Ellis, G. Thompson, P. Haskell-Dowland

Edith Cowan University (AUSTRALIA)
There are a plethora of online websites and unplugged materials for people who want to learn how to code. From Scratch in the early years to the more recent (relatively) Massive Open Online Courses, there are many sources of educational and training oriented materials to assist individuals who want to develop computer science skills. Organisations such as Code.org and Khan Academy have been established for students to learn computer programming, animations, game creation or the ability to develop web pages in Java script, HTML or CSS. Most of these sites do not require the use of external computing devices and often use virtualised environments (hence missing the valuable experience of hands-on interactivity). In addition, many also have a focus on block-based coding which isolates the student from more traditional coding concepts although opening a simplistic interface for school-level students to engage with computer science curricula.

In order to provide a suitable environment to teach computer science concepts, Edith Cowan University (ECU) set forth to help schools continue their digital journey by building on what is currently available. ECU developed an interactive website, that a BBC Micro:bit could be plugged into and coded on, in python. In addition, the site had to cater for beginner level coders as well as the more able students. Splitting the desk top screen, the user can choose to code in block or text based code, directly download to the Micro:bit and troubleshoot errors if necessary.

This paper examines the outcomes of the project, the specifics of the implementation and evaluates the benefits to end users. The developed platform has been made freely available to support schools across Western Australia as well as being available globally.
@InProceedings{ELLIS2020BUI,
author = {Ellis, M. and Thompson, G. and Haskell-Dowland, P.},
title = {BUILDING A BETTER MICRO:BIT IDE – TEACHING COMPUTER SCIENCE},
series = {14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2020 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-17939-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2020.2290},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2020.2290},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2020},
year = {2020},
pages = {8425-8433}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Ellis AU - G. Thompson AU - P. Haskell-Dowland
TI - BUILDING A BETTER MICRO:BIT IDE – TEACHING COMPUTER SCIENCE
SN - 978-84-09-17939-8/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2020.2290
PY - 2020
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2020
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2020 Proceedings
SP - 8425
EP - 8433
ER -
M. Ellis, G. Thompson, P. Haskell-Dowland (2020) BUILDING A BETTER MICRO:BIT IDE – TEACHING COMPUTER SCIENCE, INTED2020 Proceedings, pp. 8425-8433.
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