BBC micro:bit Review and makecode Programming Tutorial




About this tutorial:

Video duration: 8:9
This is a video review impressive BBC micro:bit board. This board, although small in size, is very capable and very easy to program. But is it better than an Arduino Uno for a complete beginner in programming and electronics? Let’s find out!

The micro:bit development board is a relatively new development board which was released in 2016. It is developed with the intention to encourage children to get involved with programming, electronics and making in general. The purpose of this board resonates with me because I worked as a computer teacher for over 6 years in the past and I taught kids…

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30 thoughts on “BBC micro:bit Review and makecode Programming Tutorial

    Adnan

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Ere malaga

    劉祐齊

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Now you can use Scratch to program micro:bit

    weinfin

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    I used microbit to teach 3 classes of total around 80 special needs students. teachers and management cannot believe that the students can master it. and the joy of the students and sch management faces are priceless.

    Though I admit the students used 200% times of what normal students will do here in Singapore.

    students from poorer towns can benefits greatly from it even more than well off kids. sometimes that the Microbit and it's make code can bring while others cannot.

    LBSi UK

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    It is a very nice idea, but, I already have an Arduino and some good knowledge about how to code it so I think I will stick to it.

    sbmphr

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    When I was a kid, we had a day trip to a university, to learn how to program computers with punch cards

    Dan Bishop

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Thanks for the great video!!! I am hoping to get a bunch of these for the kids at our school because of your reviews.

    Shadow Gallery

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having.

    republicofsandals

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    At my first job, my boss asked for help developing a website.
    Thankfully a computer teacher introduced my class to HTML one day,
    and so I did not feel so frightened of computer programming.
    I learned how to code on https://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp
    I started with HTML for that work project, and then CSS and Javascript.
    While between employment, I coded a website for a college lecturer of mine using jQuery.
    At my second job, I learned Visual Basic for Applications,
    which provides a good development environment from which to learn software design.
    Lately I've been learning Python,
    and one of my sisters has been introduced to coding by using python in college for scientific modelling.
    There are so many marvellous technologies these days, and I'm glad that through coding, these things make more sense to me.
    Computer science is now like a sort of geography, that helps you navigate issues like business, science and privacy.

    PinkyPepper

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Nice video! What I like about the micro:bit is that you can make many games with it using wood and paper and stuff like that. I made a DIY pinball game from wood with the micro:bit ( https://youtu.be/QzWSRXqQBeQ), a steady hand game and an archery game and I am working on a simple table foosball game. It's really fun. And indeed quite easy to learn for children.

    dsvilko

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    I've also started with the GW-BASIC – those were the days… Can't say I miss it 🙂 It still amazes me how much we have progressed in such a short time. In those days, for me as a kid it was unbelievably impressive to be able to write a simple code that would change the way the computer behaves. It's much harder to impress the kids today with computer science as they grew up in a world where you can basically expect a computer to be able to do anything. That is why I find combining the programming with the electronics so useful. The kids are much more impressed if they can program something that is not a PC, specially if it also has mechanical components – as in simple robotics.

    Kristian Pedersen

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    I've done two micro:bit workshops for kids, age 10-14. From what I've seen, the block editor lets them focus on basic programming concepts and exploring their ideas. The MakeCode interface is really nice to work with, I think.

    Hooking up alligator clips to external components seemed to really catch the kids' interest. It's also really fun to have one student connected to ground, and another student to an input pin, and then complete the circuit.

    For use in schools, I think the portability and built-in sensors are great advantages over the Arduino. I've seen teachers here in Norway use the micro:bit to measure the acceleration of bottle rockets and downhill skiers!

    I've also heard of "useless robots" workshops being held, where the kids use micro:bits, servos and various materials to make funny projects.

    Downloading and transfering .hex files gets boring, but if you're on a Windows machine (which most kids probably are), the automatic micro:bit uploader is a good solution: https://www.touchdevelop.com/microbituploader

    As for other educational boards, I think Adafruit Circuit Playground Express looks good! It has RGB LEDs, 8 alligator clip ports, and also uses a variant of Microsoft MakeCode for programming.

    pyromaniac303

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    The programming environment seems to have borrowed heavily from App Inventor! I think it's a great incentive for kids to get started in engineering – I had to start out the hard way with 8 bit PICs and assembly language with a learning curve steep enough to put anyone off…

    Microbyte VAX11/780

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Most excellent, thanks.

    Tim Brown

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Hi Nick, I first programed in BASIC too but on a PDP-10 mainframe. Having played with the microbit quite a lot I came to the same conclusion as you; – for a child, or beginner, it has a unique offering compared with arduino or pi. I rate and recommend it.

    Master

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    I don't like this board

    Salim Safran

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    i still acknowledge that BBC sent free Micro:bit computers to a million UK students , what others sent ? nothing…, humans wish there is a BBC in every village on earth. you are a great man with wonderful spirit to share and help with your knowledge, thank you.

    Philip Hirons, Jr.

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    I started on BASIC on a TRS-80. Moved on to C-64 and Commodore Pets & Super Pets. Been at it nearly 40 years.

    Bruce Woods

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Looks like a lot of fun and easy for my grand kids to use.

    Jules A

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Programming a board by drag and drop? But where is the love of programming gone? I will recommand this to kids under 5 years of age.

    Ray Kent

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Stand by for a very grumpy comment…. easy graphical drag and drop methods of software development have been around for donkey's years (and have their drawbacks). A recent example aimed at children is scratch. This can be downloaded for free to a pc near you and is a very easy entry into programming. Likewise for python, java, C, as learning progresses. The pc gives you everything you need to learn, so what is the point of adding this board? Flashing lights? You still need the pc, so it doesn't appear to save money. I think it's doomed, the BBC has had the mad whim of competing with Raspberry. I don't see any embedded designers taking this up, and, if not, is there a great advantage to making it very small?

    Perspectologist

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Nice to learn more about the MicroBit. This might be good to look at with my nephews when they are a little older.

    I also started with BASIC. In elementary school we used BASIC on old Apple computers to draw images and make animations. It didn’t interest me that much because it felt more like a typing class than a programing class. It seemed like a really inefficient way to just make an image or animation. There was a lot of typing and printing. When I got my first computer I experimented with GW BASIC on my own. I liked making useful utility applications. I enjoyed automating tasks and solving problems. Being a programmer felt like being a wizard!

    Shanene Larissa

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    i was 100% sure you were from india xd

    Aditya Gupta

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    10th comment

    E_404

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    You can hear how exited he is 😀

    The White Byte

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    The Micro:bit was designed for children and is very suitable for children. My experience with it, though, is that beyond the most basic projects, it's quite limited and limiting – more than the Arduino actually. Thanks for the detailed video!

    shinevision sv

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Awesome!

    Nicola Furlani

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    As a kid, I've played Lego Mindstorm.
    Same programming logic.
    Thus I'm not impressed.

    rafael marroquin

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    The best review that see

    Vimarsh

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    3rd

    Nikolaou Nikolaos

    (December 3, 2019 - 1:25 am)

    Nice!! 2nd

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