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It’s snowing micro:bits!

'Tis the season of giving, and our gift to you this year is code.

Bry LeBlanc
December 20, 2018

‘Tis the season of giving, and our gift to you this year is code.

The month of December is often linked to vacation, family, giant feasts and for most Canadians — heaps of snow. But for us, December also means that it’s time for Hour of Code! An annual event, Hour of Code is an initiative to celebrate computer science across the globe. The event takes place during Computer Science Week (December 3-9) and invites anyone from 5 to 95 to participate in diverse, hour-long coding activities.

Kids Code Jeunesse has been celebrating Hour of Code for nearly 5 years. And as part of Code Create Celebrate program in 2018, we’re joined in on the festivities with micro:bits! A micro:bit is a small programmable computer, no bigger than a deck of cards, but this year with a holiday twist! We rolled out Merry Micro:bits — a holiday-themed coding package that makes it simple for any educator, parent, or friend to get the kids in their community coding.

The package contains a step-by-step project for beginners and activities for kids who want to step up their game. Whatever their level of coding experience might be, we’ve got them covered with short and sweet coding activities. The best part: they don’t even need a micro:bit to take a crack at it—there’s an emulator available.

Merry Micro:bits has been downloaded by over 370 teachers, educators, and parents across Canada!

By spreading the micro:bit cheer, we’re hoping to show both kids and educators how simple coding can be. Coding with a micro:bit is not only accessible to all, but is proven fun for students and teachers.

One of our ongoing initiatives is all about offering free, introductory workshops for K-12 teachers across Canada, where students and educators get to tinker with micro:bits. During the workshop, KCJ facilitators come into classrooms to show just how fun and easy a micro:bit can be through various, hands-on coding activities.

By participating in the workshops, teachers even get to keep a set of 10 micro:bits for their students!

A grade 6 teacher from Saskatoon who signed up for a workshop said that micro:bits introduce technology in the classroom without risk of overexposure.

“With micro:bits, we can do more things in the classroom with minimal computer time,” she said. “[Micro:bits] also go well with other subjects such as physics and art!”

Another educator, a grade 4 teacher from Edmonton, said:

"My mind is blown by the possibilities available with micro:bits. Our school just got funding, and this is where I want to see it go!"

Even though Hour of Code week is over, it’s not too late to take a look at our Merry Micro:bits project this holiday season! Try it out for an hour and see if it’s something you’d want to introduce in your classroom. If the answer ends up being “Yes!” then sign up for our Intro to micro:bit workshop here.

On behalf of the entire KCJ team, we want to wish you all Merry Micro:bits and a Happy New Year!

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