This research investigated the perceptions held by Key Stage 2 (KS2) pupils, across two Northern Ireland (NI) primary schools, towards the use of the BBC Micro:bit that has been recently dispatched to United Kingdom (UK) primary schools. The study involved the researchers creating and implementing a teaching resource that included a range of different activities for the pupils to complete using the BBC Micro:bit. Upon completion of these activities, feedback was sought and obtained from the pupils via a questionnaire. The study is important as it is one of only a few pieces of research surrounding the BBC Micro:bit and to the authors’ knowledge, it is the only research to date conducted in NI that focusses on pupils’ perceptions involving the use of BBC Micro:bit.
What was most apparent in this study was the very positive response of the pupils towards using the BBC Micro:bit. Nearly all of the pupils who took part in this study responded that they found using the BBC Micro:bit easy, enjoyable and useful in relation to both programming and problem solving. A minority of the pupils also commented on how the BBC Micro:bit provided an opportunity to work as a team in order to overcome problems during the programming stage, promoting the important skills of team work and problem solving. Nearly all pupils expressed a keen interest in programming and indicated that they learnt a lot in such a short time. Furthermore, pupils expressed great enthusiasm towards using the BBC Micro:bit and expressed a desire to use it more often, both inside and outside of the school.
Based on these key findings and taking account of the strengths and limitations of this research, ideas for further research are presented alongside advice for teachers who may be considering the use of the BBC Micro:bit within their own lessons.