The February Codemill Digital skills meetup had Amy Hearn talk about how public libraries around the UK are now lending out BBC micro:bit computers and how and why the initiative was started.Amy Hearn is a development librarian, runs Hudderfield Girl Geeks meetup and is one of the people who started #microbitsinlibraries, thus she was the perfect person to introduce us to the idea.
Some takeaways from the talk:
90% of children said the micro:bit showed them anyone can code
After trying micro:bit, 39% of girls said they would choose computing, compared to 23% before trying micro:bit
Micro:bits are being lent in 1200 libraries in the UK and over the world.
Micro:bit lending attracted new people to join the libraries - reached new audiences
Coding for under 5's exists - you can teach functional skills that would make a better coder later. A few toy examples: