Frequently Asked Questions (Schools)
Q1: How do I sign up for the programme?
A1: Please fill up the application form found on the Digital Maker programme website, www.digitalmaker.sg. Do take note of the deadline for sign-ups in our email and website.
Q2: What do I receive when I sign up for the Digital Maker programme?
A2: We will provide micro:bits for up to one level / cohort of your students. You can decide which level you would like to introduce the micro:bits to (e.g. for a specific level or rotate across levels each term) and how you may want to use it (e.g. for Design and Technology lessons or Applied Learning Programme).
In addition to the provision of the micro:bits, you can send up to 5 teachers to attend the 1.5-day workshop, provided by Microsoft through their training partners, at one of your preferred timeslots.
Q3: When do I receive the micro:bits upon approval?
A3: Upon receiving the registration, there will be a checking and approval process, estimated to take 3 to 5 days. We will then liaise with schools on the delivery, estimated to be about 1 week after approval. For the first batch of sign-ups, schools will likely receive the micro:bits in end May / June 2017.
Q4: Is it compulsory for my teachers to attend the workshop?
A4: It is encouraged that the teachers attend the workshop to gain better understanding of the technology and gather ideas on the possibilities of using the micro:bits in their subjects or school programmes.
Q5: I am a teacher and if I can’t make it at any of the timeslots given, can I go for the next round of training?
A5: For every batch of sign-ups, there will be 3 timeslots allocated for workshops. We encourage teachers whose schools sign up during the particular sign-up period to go for one of the 3 timeslots. Due to limited space available for each batch of workshops, priority will be given to teachers whose schools sign up at that particular application period. We will try to include teachers from the earlier batch if they are really not able to attend the training timeslots provided.
Q6: Do I need to pay to be part of the programme?
A6: The school is not required to pay to be part of the programme. The school will only need to set aside budget to purchase additional sensors, accessories or peripherals if they intend to use micro:bits to build more complicated set-ups.
Q7: Do the students get to bring the micro:bits home?
A7: Unlike the BBC project which gave 1 million micro:bits to all Grade 7 students in UK, the Digital Maker programme is providing the micro:bits to schools to manage. Schools can decide whether the students get to bring the micro:bits home to keep or just for a specific project.
As this is only a one-time provision, we would strongly encourage schools to re-use the micro:bits across levels so that more students have the opportunities to be exposed to this technology.
One of our early adopter schools has come up with a creative way to make it easier to re-use the micro:bits. When students are doing projects / prototypes with the micro:bits, teachers could get the students to first make a casing (e.g. using cardboard) for the micro:bit to be slotted in, so that the students can stick anything on the cardboard case without damaging the micro:bits, allowing them to be easily removed for other projects. See diagram below for an example of the cardboard casing.
Q8: What are the pre-requisites for schools to sign up for the Digital Maker programme?
A8: All Primary and Secondary schools in Singapore are welcome to sign up for the Digital Maker programme. However, schools will need to provide a broad plan on how they plan to use the micro:bits in their schools.
Q9: What deliverables must the school achieve?
A9: Schools are only requested to contribute one lesson idea at the end of 6 months on the use of the micro:bits in their school. Selected lesson ideas will be shared with the education community at our Digital Maker website. In addition, when there are suitable platforms for sharing, IMDA will invite schools to showcase their teachers’ or students’ projects/prototypes.
LOSS, WARRANTY AND EXCHANGE POLICY
Q10: If I lose the micro:bits, how do I get them replaced?
A10: You can purchase the micro:bits through the Singapore distributor.
Q11: What is in the pack that will be provided to schools?
A11: The micro:bits come in trays of 20 micro:bit sets, each set consists of:
one USB cable,
one battery holder,
Q12: How long is the warranty period?
A12: Upon receipt of the micro:bits, the warranty period will last for 6 months. Any exchanges done within the 6-month period is free of charge.
Q13: How do I exchange the faulty micro:bit?
A13: Upon delivering the micro:bits, the warranty policies and instructions will be attached for schools’ reference and action if necessary.
Q14: I am a parent of a particular school; why didn’t my child’s school sign up for the Digital Maker programme?
A14: The decision of signing up to be part of the Digital Maker programme is up to the schools. If you are interested to expose your child to Digital Making, you can also sign up for one of our community workshops made available free of charge at some of the
community locations. For more information for the community workshops, please visit our website, www.digitalmaker.sg.
Q15: How is the Digital Maker programme different from the Code for Fun programme?
A15: Digital Maker programme aims to encourage both students and adults to be digitally creative and develop a passion in making using technology. Coding is part of the process, a means to get to the end in building a prototype. Code for Fun programme, under Code@SG umbrella, focuses on increasing students’ exposure to coding and computational thinking concepts. They are two separate programmes but complement each other. For schools who sign up for the Digital Maker programme, they will be provided free micro:bits for up to one level/cohort of students plus 1.5-day workshop for up to 5 teachers. If the school wants to go more in-depth student training, they can then sign up for the Code for Fun programme, opting for the Microcontroller block-based / syntax-based programming course, where the schools can plan and run 20 hours of coding/computational thinking training over 2 years. For more information on the Code for Fun programme, please refer to https://portal.imda.gov.sg.
Q16: Is the micro:bit endorsed by IMDA as THE microcontroller to use for schools?
A16: IMDA is not endorsing the micro:bit as the only microcontroller that schools and community should use. The Digital Maker programme aims to nurture a new generation of digital creators and makers, so for a start, the micro:bit is selected to be introduced under this programme as it is simple to use, while at the same time, open-ended enough for enthusiasts to explore various possible use of this technology to create things. Schools should still assess if this technology is suited for your students and teachers to be incorporated into your school subjects and programmes.
Q17: If my school intends to choose micro:bits under Code for Fun programme, do we need to buy the micro:bits and the accessories under Code for Fun if I have already signed up for the Digital Maker Programme?
A17: Schools will receive micro:bits when you sign up for the Digital Maker programme. Schools will need to purchase necessary accessories for micro:bits if they intend to apply for Code for Fun training using micro:bits.
For more queries, please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.