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BBC and Aarhus University enhance digital learning in British primary schools

Today, the BBC micro:bit playground survey is launched across the UK – it is a suite of resources designed to get kids out of the classroom and into the playground with a series of data collection activities using the micro:bit. Prof. Marianne Graves and Postdocs Karl-Emil Kjær Bilstrup and Magnus Høholt Kaspersen from Center for Computational Thinking and Design have contributed to the project with a tool that is used to teach 700.000 children about machine learning. Their tool is part of the exercise ‘Tracking our physical activity and exploring machine learning’. 

Photo: BBC

We are excited and proud to be part of this project, that will make data and machine learning explorable for children through the education system. Digital systems are increasingly shaping our lives and society and every child should have the opportunity to experience, explore, create and take a stance on these powerful tools,” says Professor Marianne Graves Petersen from the department, who already have tested the machine learning tool in Danish public schools in collaboration with Danish national broadcasting company DR via the ultra:bit project. The research at Aarhus University has been funded by the VILLUM foundation and It-vest

The BBC micro:bit playground survey consists of playful and educational exercises to help children aged 7-11 get to grips with data science and digital skills in a way that relates to their everyday lives. The survey is a series of seven fun, cross-curricular activities, designed to work flexibly to help teachers fit the learning into a busy timetable. Teachers can choose what works best for them and can do one, some, or all the activities. Each activity is a mixture of sessions including classroom-based planning, optional coding, playground fieldwork sessions, and whole-class data analysis. There is also an introduction to AI and an opportunity for children to train their own machine learning model. 

Find more info about BBC micro:bit playground survey and the exercises at https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/microbit