This February, three of Arkansas’s Computer Science Specialists, Tammy Glass, Leslie Savall and Kelly Griffin, came together at AETN to create an ArkansasIDEAS course called “Micro:Bit in the Library.” Although it serves as an alternative to a face-to-face training for Library Media Specialists who are interested in the BBC micro:bit kit provided by ADE for use in the library, I would recommend it to any educator who enjoys coding or learning about new devices.
The Computer Science Specialists packed this course full of engaging lessons and activities to use in the classroom, as well as instructions for basic care and use of the micro:bit device. Also included are easy-to-follow tutorials for using Blockly, a block-based coding language used to program the micro:bit, on Microsoft's MakeCode website. These tutorials range from getting familiar with the language with simple one-line codes, to complex programs that students may need guidance on. “Micro:Bit in the Library” is going to be a really fun course for educators interested in using a micro:bit to introduce coding into their classroom.
Remember the micro:bit kit I mentioned? After completing the course, Library Media Specialists can apply to receive a micro:bit kit, which includes a micro:bit device and the book “Code Your Own Games” by Max Wainewright. Elementary librarians also receive the book “Sasha Savvy Loves to Code” by Sasha Ariel Alston. If you are not a librarian, don’t be discouraged! Although you are not eligible to apply for the free kit, you can visit microbit.org to find out about buying one micro:bit or a class set.
“Micro:Bit in the Library” can be found in the ArkansasIDEAS course library by searching the title or the course code, TCC18065.
Author Amber Branscum is an AETN ArkansasIDEAS Education & Instruction Specialist.