'Micro:bit expedition' to help Dutch primary school kids develop digital skills

Micro:bit
Micro:bit. Photo: @microbit_edu / Twitter

Foundation FutureNL is launching a "micro:bit expedition" at all 474 primary schools in the Netherlands. Starting on Friday, each school will receive 20 goody-bags, including 20 micro:bits and a dozen lessons to teach students and teachers how to work with this new technology in a fun way. The goal of this expedition is to make children and teachers enthusiastic about interacting with technology and developing digital skills, FutureNL said in a statement.

The expedition, aimed at kids from groups 6, 7 and 8, kicks off on September 29th and the big finale will take place in EuropeanCodeWeek on Friday, October 13th. The micro:bit is a pocket-sized coputer developed by the BBC in England. The expedition will teach kids how to program it. 

FutureNL aims to educate and facilitate the development of digital skills school children. Unlike in countries like Great Brritain, Poland and Greece, digital literacy is not a mandatory part of the school curriculum in the Netherlands. According to FutureNL, this could jeopardize the Netherlands competitive position as a knowledge economy. The foundation therefore teamed up with TU Delft to develop lessons and training material aimed at school aged children. 

"Our children should not only be users, but also makers of digital technology", Prince Constantijn, on the Advisory Board of FutureNL, said. "This is not only important for their personal development and their chances in the labor market. It is also essential for the innovation and competitiveness of the Netherlands. Therefore, programming must be given priority in primary and secondary education."

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