Let's take a few minutes to talk about my new favorite maker tool. It's got the two things that I think are the ultimate keys: accessibility and high ceiling. It's cheap, and you can code it in both Block and Python. What device is it? It’s micro:bit.
This device is the little mini-computer that could! A micro:bit has several aspects to it including an LED panel you can code, buttons, sensors, and edge connectors that can be used to add things like lights and motors. You can create your own robots, games, and even a scientific instrument or two. The ceiling is incredibly high because it can be the brains for almost anything!
It’s also an incredible way to learn coding. Kids can build and create anything, and they get to program it to do the function that they want. The coding on the device is also incredibly accessible. With both block coding resources and Python resources, you can have elementary school students make with it, but you can also take it into high school with Python. There aren’t that many devices that can cross over like that
I am fortunate to work with a company that even takes that micro:bit accessibility a step further. Sometimes it’s hard to teach kids everything they need for a mini-computer. You might want them to create, but you might not know where to start. Tynker has courses to fix that problem. We have both a micro:bit block course and a Micropython course that teach kids all the aspects of the micro:bit. They build projects to learn how to use the sensors, led’s, buttons, and edge connectors with the goal being to learn the functions well enough to build their own project. We have even simplified code deployment to make it easy no matter what device you have.
What can you build? The possibilities are endless. You could build robots, rc cars, scientific instruments, and much, much more. The ability to add accessories with the edge connector ensures that you can build almost anything you want. Isn't that what making is all about?