“Amazing! The Little Bits Coding kit is really great for kids who want to learn to code. Like, if they really enjoy coding during in their free time, you should purchase a kit so that you don’t have to spend extra money or drive anywhere for your child to code or be taught how to code.” -Mackenzie
Here’s what I noticed: Follow the link to view the site resources listed.
- The kit has very little pieces to keep up with. It was easy to set-up and clean-up the Code Kit.
- In order to use the kit, users have to download the Little Bits Code Kit App. The App is available for Mac OSX 10.10 and above, Windows 34 or 62-bit, and Chromebook OS version 50 or higher.
- The Little Bits website offers 4 Games to Invent or Code. These are a great option to get a new user started.
- There are also a few Educator Resource Videos available. These are good resources to establish teacher comfort level before introducing the kit to students.
- Each kit comes with a single LED Matrix and related accessories. Mackenzie would have liked more LED Matrices.
On the same day that Mackenzie and I explored the Little Bits STEM kit (Re: January 27, 2019), we tested out the Little Bits Code Kit. Mackenzie is pretty fantastic at all subject areas, especially science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. She loves to read, but does not enjoy reading for the purpose of passing a quiz or test associated with the text. I’m leading with that knowledge so that you, as the reader, can understand the significance of her interest level in relation to the Little Bits Coding Kits.
After an hour of exploration, I left the kit with Mackenzie. The days that followed were filled with video messages from her. She had taken the initiative to conduct research on the Little Bits Coding Kit. She found the Educator Resource Videos and, site provided, Games to Invent or Code. I didn’t mention the site resources or ask Mackenzie to spend more time working with the kit. Magically, sharing something that was of interest with her caused Mackenzie to research and read for a purpose. She reasoned and analyzed issues she encountered as she completed the games and communicated her progress and thoughts effectively through text messages and video demonstrations.
I’m reading The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner. He states in his introduction that effective communication, curiosity, and critical-thinking skills are essential competencies and mind habits for 21st century learners. Introducing Mackenzie to the Little Bits Code Kit was a clear indication that these 21st century skills come naturally to learners when provided with content that is personally interesting. Isn’t that what our job is as educators? To take an individualized approach to teaching and learning in order to meet learners where they are and foster growth that supports the individual’s social, emotional, and academic growth.
So what do I think about the kit? I love it! I want to buy more for the kids that I work with in my after school robotics club. I see a clear connection between this product and Micro:bits, which are another favorite that I would like to see used more in our early secondary Technology Applications and Introductory Computer Science programs.
Just one video sent from Mackenzie that demonstrates her curiosity, critical-thinking and problem solving, and essential effective communication. Absolutely Fantastic! Hiding a Very Secret Message
Little Bits Website: https://littlebits.com/
Micro:bit Educational Foundation Website: https://microbit.org/
Interested in Learning More: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Philosophy of Computer Science