Excellent write-up from Rafranz Davis on Medium.
Don’t forget to check out https://makecode.adafruit.com as well!
This past summer at ISTE, I was able to get my hands on a few Circuit Playground Express base kits through Microsoft’s MakeCode initiative. The circuit playground express, a microcontroller created by Adafruit, serves as a pretty solid introduction to electronics and programming that can be coded with Microsoft’s makecode, CircuitPython or the Arduino IDE.
I knew that this fall we would have an opportunity to introduce physical computing and programming through a dedicated program in elementary (3–5) that my department teaches with a focus on technology but I wasn’t quite sold yet on the CPX being the tool of choice especially when we could have easily introduced physical computing through our Raspberry Pis.
After spending quite a bit of time immersing myself into research by tinkering with the support of Adafruit’s extensive learning library, it occurred to me that if the end goal is not just our small group of (120) kids tinkering but entire grade levels, we needed to model an entry point that was purposefully aligned to our learning standards as well as accessible to any level learner, including teachers.
We also needed to make it visible.