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BBC micro:bit - Kitronik University

- BBC microbit - Kitronik University

This Kitronik University course is part of the BBC microbit partnership and covers aspects of the micro:bit including an overview of what it is, what our role is and of course tutorials to let you get started using it within Design & Technology and Science.

If you want to learn more about the micro:bit, as a new user or a more experienced one, this is the place to be. The tutorials cover the very basics all the way up to robotics and more. Wearables, physical computing, hacking games for micro:bit control, controlling connected electronics, driving motors and actuators, there is something here for everyone!

This course is still being written so check back regularly, or subscribe to our newsletter to be kept informed of updates.

BBC microbit _logo_870

Course Contents:

 

BBC micro:bit Overview:

What is the micr0:bit? This section covers general information about the background of the microbit. How it came to be, what it is intended to address, and also how Kitronik have been involved in the process. You can learn more about the history of the micro:bit here.

 

microbit Coding Editors:

One of the key strengths of the micro:bit is the variety of ways in which you can write code for it. No workarounds required. This opens up learning to a wide range of ages and also ability levels. These are links to the most popular editors for micro:bit.

 

Getting Started With The BBC microbit:

If you are new to the micro:bit and also coding, the hardest part of learning is often knowing where to start. Kitronik has committed to producing information to help the new user go from novice to ninja in easy to manage steps.  Learn the basics of some of the available coding editors and also a few simple coding examples to get you started. If Scratch is your editor of choice, we also have a guide for that too!

 

Mobile Device Apps:

We developed a simple Android App that allows you to utilise control over Bluetooth with the microbit. We also chose to release it as a free download to open it up for everyone. Some of the more advanced tutorials on this page also feature Bluetooth, so it made sense for us to have our own App.

 

MicroPython Example Code For Kitronik Products:

If you've already got the upper hand with blocks and Javascript, then you'll need somewhere to go next. The next logical step is MicroPython. Many of our more recent microbit accessory launches have included coding examples in blocks and also in MicroPython.

 

Teachers Lesson Plans:

These resources have been specifically designed to help teachers deliver lessons with as little work as possible. Devising quality resources for Teachers has always been a key part of the Kitronik product development cycle. Because the curriculum can be a complicated animal, it has also been our policy to regularly seek advice and direct input from award-winning Teachers.

 

Free E-Textiles Sample Packs:

 

E-Textiles Tutorials:

Can the micro:bit be used in E-Textiles? Definitely! The micro:bits small physical footprint and its impressive feature set lends itself perfectly to wearable electronics. Learn how to add the micro:bit to garments and also to wearable accessories.

 

Using The Expansion Connector With Electronics:

Can the micro:bit be directly connected to electronics and other devices? The microbits edge connector opens it up to being connected to other devices, additional electronics, and also the wider world. This collection of tutorials will show you how you can make use of the edge connector to do some pretty amazing things with very little effort. You can utilise additional sensors, hack games for microbit control, control servos, and much more.

 

Inventors Kit Experiments:

Can the micro:bit be used to learn about physical computing? The inventors kit for micro:bit is probably the most popular micro:bit learning aid in the world. The interesting and informative experiments, the clear and concise instructions all combine to take the user from beginner to intermediate in a very short space of time. But, we didn't stop there! These online resources provide additional information, video walkthroughs, and also MicroPython code examples for each. Several of the experiments have been put online in their entirety, AND, we also devised two more bonus experiments that are only available online.

 

ZIP LED Add-On Pack For The Inventors Kit:

The ZIP LED add-on pack for the Kitronik Inventors Kit for the BBC microbit provides the perfect way to learn about the wonderful world of ZIP LEDs. These LEDs are simple to control and can be used to produce a whole range of fantastic colours. We've put up one of the experiments from the pack in its entirety, which includes a full parts list, and we've also devised a bonus experiment that is only available online!

 

Noise Pack for Kitronik Inventor's Kit for the BBC micro:bit:

The Noise pack add-on for the Inventors kite teaches you how to bend sound to your will in your projects. As a bonus, we've also created an online-only experiment that combines coding, electronics and a bit of mechanical engineering.

 

Robots/Buggies:

Can you build robots with the microbit, yes you can! We love robots, so much so that we've developed a number of micro:bit accessories specifically designed to allow you to robot up the place. Whenever we design something, we always look to open it up to as many people as possible by writing clear instructions and also as many fun additional activities as we can come up with. Whatever you intend to build, the chances are that we have a tutorial that will help you get there.

 

Everything Is Better With Bluetooth:

The road to the Internet of Things (IoT) starts here! Computers are great, but it wasn't until we joined them all together that their power was fully realised! The micro:bit can be connected to other things too. It has Bluetooth, a radio module and also serial connectivity built-in. As great as connecting electronics directly to it is, wireless information transfers are where it's at! Learn about how you can utilise the power of Bluetooth in your projects, AND, we also have a free app for that!

 

Light It Up:

Can you use the microbit to control individual lights and make them do exactly what you want? Yes, you can and you should! The chances are that pretty much all of the consumer electronics you have at home have some sort of visual feedback built into them. Often, it is in the form of LEDs. It might just be a power light, or it might be a colour coded VU meter. However many there are, they might also be controlled via code. Learn how to use the micro:bit to great visual effect with code and individually programmable LEDs.

 

:GAME ZIP 64 Teaching Resources:

Can you play games on the microbit? Yes, you can, even without any additional controls. However, even younger hands will fumble the buttons from time to time. Also, having more than the standard two buttons available is also a must if you want to write something a little more engaging and fun! We have an accessory for that, two actually. The :GAME ZIP also comes with a built-in LED screen and the :GAME Controller utilises the micro:bit LEDs. We not only teamed up with an actual teacher to bring you a free learning resource, but we also brought a couple of classic games to the platform for you to learn from and have fun with!

 

:MOVE mini Teaching Resources:

We have a wealth of free learning resources for our popular little robot buggy, but this one was written by a teacher for teachers. This classroom-ready resource has been designed to help you teach robotics at KS3/4.

 

ZIP Halo for microbit Teaching Resources:

The ZIP Halo is a great accessory for learning about how to incorporate programmable lighting in a variety of situations. This teacher-designed set of resources will allow you to bring this to the classroom, easily and without the time and stress required to do this from the ground up.

 

Kitronik :CITY Teaching Resources:

Traffic light projects have been a staple in schools and colleges across the land for decades. They are used to teach everything from traffic management to machine code programming and they've suddenly got a lot more interesting. We've developed some accessories to make the task of making these projects more enjoyable and to leave you with a better-looking result at the end. We also developed teaching plans for each, to help you get the most out of them in the classroom.

 

Writing microbit Games:

Can you write games on the micro:bit? Check! Can you write games that make use of user input to control an on-screen character? Check! The good news just keeps on coming, accessories are optional! Learn how to move a player-controlled character around the screen with just the micro:bit. We also cover how you can do the same with a joystick and with a handheld game controller.

 

Custom Code:

Kitronik is committed to education. We ensure that whenever we design a micro:bit accessory that we also produce the resources to back it up. We also devise functionality to add to the MakeCode editor that makes the task of learning to write code for our accessories as simple as possible. That's not to say that you HAVE to use these blocks, you are free to take the scenic route if you want more of a challenge. The blocks are there to help younger children, those with less experience and also those that want to get from A to B as quickly as possible.

 

Hacking Toys For microbit control:

Can you use a micro:bit to control a commercial toy? Yes, you can, and we can prove it! The micro:bit can be used as a direct replacement for the toy's controls or it can also be used to add extra functionality. One is simple and the other can be more tricky but they both help you to get more mileage out of children's toys. We like to think of this as upcycling.

 

Link Standard:

Standards make the world go around, and wheels too. We've ensured that all of our recent accessories comply to certain standards, standards that ensure that things work in the way you expect them to and that there is compatibility between complimentary boards.

 

3D Printing:

3D printing is already a household term, it's also fast becoming a household activity. As printers become more affordable and more reliable, more and more people are experimenting with 3D design and manufacture. So, once you've got a benchy or two and a vase under your belt, what next? Do 3D printing and micro:bit go together? Check out the resources below and chalk this one up as another yes!

 

Laser Cutting:

Our guides aren't all about the coding, sometimes you also need a functional or an aesthetically pleasing case or cover. Any excuse to jump on the laser cutter, and we'll take it. These resources provide cases and inspiration for possible projects. They also highlight that design, electronics, code and mechanical engineering nearly always go hand in hand!

 

Kitronik :City From Bett 2019:

Civil Engineering and the micro:bit? Why not! For BETT 2019 we designed a micro:bit city, complete with tourist attractions, sporting venues and much more. It got a lot of attention and also enquires as to how it was done. As we love making resources, it didn't take any arm twisting to get us to also make a series of resources for the :CITY. If you would like to make your own city, or at least a part of one, this collection of resources will show you how to do it. They cover; design, coding,  and also construction. If you make something, please tell us all about it on social media as it gives us a thrill to see other peoples creations in action.

 

Seasonal microbit Projects:

Is the micro:bit fun? Yes it is, it's not all learn, learn, learn, sometimes it's just for fun or for effect. That's not to say that you won't also learn along the way, because you will, but you might not notice because of all the fun. Sneaky... The emphasis on these resources is on the end result being a fun experience with a fun and useful outcome. You can get dressed up, make seasonal ornaments, and also make some animated models.

 

 

Finally, make sure you don't miss out on any other new free learning resources by signing up for our newsletter here.

 

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10 thoughts on “BBC micro:bit - Kitronik University”

  • Hi

    Do you sell the BBC micro bit computer?

    Regards

    Ray

    Reply
    • Hi Ray,

      There is a legacy group which is working on the finer detail of the legacy which includes distribution. Distribution will begin sometime after the last of the year 7 students have received theirs. We are hopeful at this stage that we will be a distributor.

      Rob

      Reply
  • how do i make sure that my year 7s get this then?

    Reply
    • Hi Adam,

      You can register your school to receive BBC micro:bits for your Year 7 year group here: https://bbcmicrobitschoolregistrationform.co.uk/english.html.

      Hope this helps,

      Many thanks,

      Andrew

      Reply
  • How/where do I find the driver for the micro:bit so that I can drag and drop the coding onto them ?
    many thanks
    Paul

    Reply
    • Hi Paul,

      The BBC micro:bit should appear in My Computer without the need for any driver.

      Kind regards

      Rob

      Reply
  • Nigel Kendrick April 3, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Can you elaborate on how the LEDs are connected to the microcontroller/edge connector as there's a 5x5 array of LEDs, but the relevant pins of the edge connector are designated Col1-3 and Col7-9.

    Thanks

    Nigel Kendrick
    (STEM Ambassador)

    Reply
    • Hi Nigel, The 25 LED's are split into 8 columns (1-9), there are 4 rows but the rows aren't broken out (to avoid the risk of shorts). Unfortunately, that means that you can't drive the LED matrix from the edge connector.

      Reply
  • An example of how to write and read from the i2C would be a great help. At the moment I can't seem to get the correct parameters/types set in micropython for microbit.i2c.read and write. In the project i am experimenting with i am using a MCP23017 with a single LED attached to GPB1. the circuit works when connected to an Arduino. bus address is 0x27

    Reply
    • Hi Dave, it's not something we've looked into but if you use the following search term in google it should be the first result in the list, once there you can find information on iC2 at the bottom of the menu on the left. The search term: microbit micropython read the docs io ic2. I hope this helps.

      Reply
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