Are you a micro curious about Micro:Bit? Let me convince you that you need this item for your classroom and, for the price of around $20, this piece of equipment won’t break the bank. However, be warned that it may lead to the creation of a nation full of coders once they learn how much fun and unlimited potential that coding gives them!

So, what is Micro:Bit, you ask? They are small circuits used to teach coding for students, perfect for grades 6-12. Created by the BBC and used throughout the UK, Canada has now begun to adapt their uses into their own classrooms. Because students are able to code on the web, no app or other technology is required, making them much more accessible to all schools. They can be programmed with either block-based programming or text-based programming (JavaScript).

Each Micro:Bit contains a variety of inputs (sensors) that control different aspects, such as a tilt sensor to determine if it’s leaning forward, backward, left, or right, two buttons (A and B), an accelerometer to determine if it’s shaken or in free fall, a temperature sensor, a compass, and a magnetic sensor. It has a little display composed of 5 x 5 (25) LED. Coolest of all is that it has pins at the bottom that allow alligator clip wires to plug in more things, like headphones or speakers to add sound to their creation, a light sensor, or an ultrasonic sensor (to determine distance)! They can also communicate with other Micro:Bits to allow multiplayer games or apps that work together. The possibilities, fun, and learning potential with this small device are truly endless!

For my visit to Prince-George, we used these Micro:Bits to program a Fitbit, create a war card game, make an animated emoji generator, and create a rock-paper-scissor game. We had a blast! After a day of hands on activity with the students and myself, the teachers are confident and knowledgeable enough to incorporate the use of these into their daily lessons!

I also teach workshops about similar interfaces, such as the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express, Makes Makey, and Arduinos. Let’s play… I mean work, with robots together! They truly are the future of learning and will help you to create unforgettable lessons in your classroom.