Summary of recent work/practice

The new, updated, section of the portfolio should start with a summary of your recent work or practice and be no longer than 500 words. This should be related to the contextual statement in the original sections of your portfolio or the summary from the last update. In this section you should describe how your role or more broadly your career have developed over the past 3 years and how this relates to your work with Learning Technology.

Since my original submission for CMALT, I have taken up a new opportunity to work with The Micro:bit Educational Foundation. I have updated my work history, which is available on my CV.

I am updating this portfolio to document my continuing practice in Learning Technology.

My current job title is Technical Support Engineer and I manage the support function for the Foundation. Duties include:

  • Providing help and support for people who use the micro:bit device, apps and editors for learning and teaching.

  • Liaising with the broad community of developers and technologists who create things for and with the micro:bit.

  • Providing technical support and systems administration for colleagues within The Foundation.

  • Testing the hardware and software

  • Developing software and web tools to support the device.

This is my first role outside further and higher education, with a specific focus on Computer Science in Primary and Secondary level education. The Micro:bit Educational Foundation also has a global user base, so I provide support for students and teachers across a wide spectrum of age, culture, digital practice.

My role is very broad, but relates to Learning Technology as I provide verbal and written advice and documentation for educators who are using the micro:bit. I do this by answering queries through a user support portal and proactively developing a knowledgebase to help people find the information they need. I also support a growing community of developers and engineers by maintaining a developer documentation site and Slack group.

I liaise with third party developers who create tools for the micro:bit hardware. Much of this is via http://github.com/, a kind of social network for code. My work profile is http://github.com/microbit-mark and on GitHub, I will raise issues on various code repositories and where possible contribute to resolving them.

I also use GitHub to store software and hardware testing procedures for the micro:bit device, so they are replicable by people outside of our team. This is something we are now undertaking for the launch of the latest micro:bit device.

Through maintaining websites and supporting users with programming, I have developed my knowledge of programming languages; specifically JavaScript, Python and C++. When I joined the Foundation. I had a working understanding of web technologies and development practices, but this role has helped me understand coding and the associated pedagogy around Computer Science.

I also provide technical support for the wider Foundation staff team. This involves systems administration, for example setting up accounts on Microsoft 365, Zoom, Dropbox, Github and onboarding people/providing training as they start to use the tools. I liaise with account managers and customer support for the specific tools, to ensure the smooth day to day running of The Foundation.

I have also been responsible for line managing and mentoring interns and junior software engineers working within the Foundation. This is something I had done in previous roles, so it has been enjoyable to take on greater responsibility in this area.

The Foundation also support volunteer time and I have used this to run and support a range of activities for young people and educators in the UK and I also had the opportunity to travel to the US and support learning activities there.