Secondary school children and teachers looking to develop new digital skills will be able to benefit from a unique programme launched by Preston’s College.
The new Micro:Hub facility, located within the College’s £13m iSTEM Centre, is hosting CPD training sessions to learn more about the BBC’s micro:bit coding device, which has been given to every year 7 pupil in the UK.
Currently in its pilot phase, the Micro:Hub initiative has already assisted numerous schools including Fulwood Academy and Penwortham Priory Academy, in boosting their digital skills and embedding computing, programming, software and hardware within the curriculum.
Research by the College showed that teachers face challenges when adopting new technology in their curriculum, with the CPD sessions introducing them to the pocket-sized codable computer and how to help pupils get the most out of the technology. The result is a portfolio of teaching and project materials that can be easily integrated into a school’s STEM education and help students gain a wider understanding and appreciation of digital technology.
Kevin Burke, head of division: iSTEM at Preston’s College, said: “Every young person in the country aged 11-12 has a BBC micro:bit and we want to help teachers maximise the benefits that their pupils can get from this fantastic resource. These sessions enable then to learn from our digital experts, and take back with them some great ideas and skills to use in their schools.
“We believe that education is at the heart of ensuring that the UK remains a digital powerhouse and we need to develop the right skills to support the future digital economy. Creative and digital is one of the seven sectors identified by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as a future driver of job and wealth in the county and we need to start investing in young people in the early stages of their digital journey.”
Micro:Hub aims to become a centre for real digital innovation and features state-of-the-art IT equipment worth around £10,000 that has been donated to the College by CPC in Preston.
Chris Haworth, managing director at CPC, added: “CPC has been supplying electronics and computing equipment to the education sector for more than 40 years and I can honestly say that things have never been so exciting!
“There is a real passion and urgency to teach and learn coding skills, with products like BBC Micro:bit making the experience more accessible, and fun, than ever before. Our aim is to ensure the UK takes a lead in the digital economy, that’s why we’re delighted to partner with Preston’s College to establish the Micro:Hub. The outstanding resources provided by the facility will ignite digital creativity and inspire our future programmers to thrive in the world of IOT. ”
Schools can register their interest for Micro:Hub by contacting Becky Kay on 01772 225000.