Back in August, I went to the ITE College Central on a Sunday to attend a micro:bit workshop that was being conducted free-of-charge as part of their ITE Fiesta celebrations. I love the college’s sprawling campus (it’s HUGE and so gorgeous) that I wonder how people could have ever associated ITE with “It’s The End”. It’s the place to be to pick up relevant skills for jobs of the future. I did a quick search for ‘coding’ related jobs and found over 2,000 jobs! *I’ll include a screenshot and link at the end of this post.
Apparently, primary school students are already pretty familiar with the micro:bit. Some of my much younger “classmates” were already making music play using the micro:bit even before the lesson commenced! Meanwhile, I was staring at the computer screen trying not to panic as I was obviously seated among some very young but very “advanced” learners. The class was terribly popular – those who had not pre-registered were queuing in a line outside the classroom, waiting to see if there would be any available seats due to absentees.
An elderly lady seated next to me tried to engage in small talk. But I’m really not very good at small talk, especially when I’m prepared to focus 100% on the lesson and not be the worst student in class. 😀 As can be expected, the lady kept turning to me during the lesson to ask what she should click on next. She was having a lot of trouble following the teacher’s (admittedly clear and simple) instructions. I was feeling a little bit annoyed as I couldn’t be listening to her questions and answering them while also trying to concentrate on what the teacher was saying. Thankfully, the ITE student volunteers came to her rescue after a while.
Looking back, it was pretty interesting indeed. On one hand, there are the whiz kids who are SO comfortable with technology. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are the older folks who are in over their heads (but still trying to learn). And then there are folks like me who are kind of in the middle. Hmm. One day, I might be in that lady’s shoes, trying to cope with the lightning-fast speed at which technology has progressed…Uh-oh!
Anyhow, ITE was being really generous with giving each of us a free micro:bit (the usual price is $20+ each) on top of offering the complimentary workshop. Also, early birds received a bright pink pouch to store the micro:bit in. I think skills can be taught easily, but habits and values have to be inculcated from a young age. Take the habit of being punctual, for instance. Some adults have so much trouble with being on time. Even if they have the necessary skills, they may not be given the job. And… they’ll wonder why.
With the micro:bit, you can program it to be your personal music player, or have it flash a message like “Welcome!”, and even have it be your very own steps tracker! It fits easily into your pocket, so you can have a different use for it every single day!
I found the platform very easy to use once you get the hang of it. It’s like ‘Coding for Dummies’. And it’s so colorful too! If you’d like to check it out, you can head to microbit.org. And under the ‘Resellers’ portion, you can look for the companies in Singapore that are selling the micro:bit and get yours directly from them.
This image might be a little too small but it was a screenshot I took when I searched for ‘coding’ jobs on Mitula. Apparently, there are lots of companies looking for individuals with coding skills.
Besides jobs, you can use the Mitula search engine for classified ads for real estate and cars too 🙂