Making micro:bit magic in Malawi with teachers and schoolchildren, in partnership with the amazing mHub and British Council Malawi teams

As part of our series of creative technology workshops for teachers and students across the globe with British Council, we’ve been in Lilongwe, Malawi.

We delivered 3-days of micro:bit teacher training for 15 local teachers in Lilongwe. On the third day, teachers put their theory into practice and led a student Hackathon with James and Helen from our team, with 33 schoolchildren from Mtandire village.

The micro:bit training and Hackathon workshops were hosted at mHub – Malawi’s first innovation hub, and winners of British Council’s #IdeasChangeLives competition 2019. All 33 students from had never used a computer before 3 weeks ago, when they first joined this British Council and mHub programme.

It was incredible to see these children’s creative, digital skills in action. After just three weeks of workshops with micro:bit, they used their creativity and ingenuity at our Hackthons to come up with imaginative, innovative and skilled responses to the prompt ‘Life on Land’. The aim was to introduce this digital tool in the context of projects that relate to their local environment. and to give the students the tools they needed to come up with ideas that solved real-life problems. Click through the slider below to see what they came up with.

 

James and Helen from the iOi team said of their time with the mHub educators and schoolchildren:

Watching the mHub mentors teach the children how to use the micro:bit after our two days of training with them was a real highlight. They were the big stars of the day and put their training to use incredibly well with the children. It was great to see all the hard work they put in on Thursday and Friday have such a good effect and made both of us feel very proud.

How the children’s ideas for their micro:bit inventions were linked to helping their local community was inspiring and considering they had only had three weeks to get to know the micro:bit and to have use of computers int heir classrooms, it was a pleasure to see them talk about their inventions with such confidence and pride.

What’s next?

mHub and British Council plan to continue these micro:bit sessions with the cohort of schoolchildren every week for a year with the aim that the schoolchildren grow in confidence and lead on training the next group of schoolchildren from Mtandire village, supported by mHub’s teachers.

We’re running these creative Hackathon sessions in Tanzania and Spain over the next two weeks. Stay tuned for more.

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