CC Stephen Chin

Coding is seen by many as the ‘new literacy’, a subject as important as English or Maths. It is a language that children need to learn to speak and think in.

In February 2014, it became mandatory for schools in the UK to teach students coding. But there is more work to be done. What about the rest of the world? And how best to teach coding to students who are new to it, wherever they are?

Take a look at this video introducing the Micro:bit, which has the potential to revolutionise how we teach coding to young people

In the micro:bit, there is a simple and exciting solution to teaching coding to young people. With the micro:bit the potential is there to make every child an innovator. The device is incredibly compact and can be coded in seconds, whether it’s lighting up its LEDs or displaying a pattern.

A quick look on the microbit website gives students tips on how to make things as imaginative as a lightbox, or Dr Who’s ‘Sonic Screwdriver’ with this incredibly simple multi-purpose device.

To begin, in 2016 the Micro:bit was given to every child in the UK aged 11 and 12. Left to their own devices (quite literally), nearly all students realised that anybody can code, and micro:bit was the tool to help them. Even better, most report that it has made computer science more interesting, and that coding isn’t as difficult as they first thought it would be.

The initiative has been so successful that there are now plans to roll out the Micro:bit in 10 countries from Finland to Singapore and beyond. This is truly the beginning of a global coding movement, with the British Council working as an official partner to bring the micro:bit to young people across the world, including via our British Council libraries, more on which later.

What makes the micro:bit so brilliant? 

Simple to use: no prior knowledge required.

Intuitive: the micro:bit, like coding follows a clear and easy to understand logic.

Non-intimidating: coding is made accessible and no longer daunting.

Tangible: the device gives users something to physically play with.

Motivating: you can see immediate results while using micro:bit

Real-world learning: helps young students apply the knowledge to real-world scenarios

Creativity: the micro:bit encourages children to work in a creative way

Where do libraries come into all this?

Libraries play a vital role in helping people build their confidence in the digital world thanks to access to free Wi-Fi, computers, other technology and helpful staff with IT skills.

At the British Council library you can find everything from books on coding, to coding workshops for children and more. Take a look to our event calendar for upcoming coding classes. 

Join the British Council Library today and become part of our digital future!

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