Posted: Mon, 06/08/2020 - 9:18 am EDT
Change, change, change. How do we best engage students in physical computing and coding from a distance? With school systems conducting distance learning, teachers continue to find creative ways to engage students without being in the classroom. One way to support students in physical computing and coding is programming a micro:bit using MakeCode. Micro:bits are small, inexpensive computers. They have a 5x5 LED array, programmable buttons, and several different sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, and temperature sensor.
Students do not need to download any software--all programming is done through the MakeCode site. If students do not have a micro:bit, that is okay! When the students program using MakeCode, there is an interactive emulator showing students what would happen if they had a micro:bit to program. This allows access for students even if they do not have the physical device. Students can also share their program with other students or a teacher who can download and run the program on a micro:bit if they have one.
There are several different tutorials and activities on the Microbit site to help get students and teachers started with micro:bit and MakeCode. The Make Code team is also conducting live lessons and posting recorded lessons to use.
What are other ways you are engaging students in coding and physical computing while working remotely? What has worked well? What are questions you still have?