Here are a couple examples of the feedback that students wrote today. Perhaps some feedback on the feedback would help us be sure we are on the right track.
February 12, 2018
Coding isn’t something Iḿ very experienced at doing. Unless you count the video games in which you have to code to move the person, I haven’t had any coding experience what-so-ever. When I first picked up the bot, I freaked out. I had no idea what to do. But the program put me at ease right away. The step by step explanations helped. I was working alone, so I did run into a little trouble here and there. The explanations helped, and after a few minutes I was able to continue. When I did Heart1, I was wondering why I had been so stressed. It was quite easy. Once I did Display, I started to getting hang of it like the spark that lit the fire. After that, I had the impression that it could only show pictures. Never had I ever even thought that it could make music. Music1 was incredible. Heart2 was the most challenging one yet. It included new terms and new coding things that were brand new. The only thing I would change was to make the bots have the ability to move. Other than that, these bots are AWESOME!
I really liked the coding kits. The instructions are clear and easy. I am not that good at python coding, yet I did well in this kit. The microbits kit friendly and entertaining. It is really nice by teaching easy step by step coding that you need to type. I really like how the microbits have so many different features. Some of the ones I did were images, text, sound, and loops. One thing I found out was that the lessons get harder as you go on to each new one.
The only thing I didn’t like about the microbits is how delicate they feel and look. Perhaps you could make them a bit sturdier. Some of the pieces are a bit too small and can get lost very easily in a messy classroom. When I was coding with these I thought every movement would break the microbit. However, these coding kits are amazing and teaches kids about coding.
Margie, thanks for posting this. Please pass along our thanks to Giulia and Cindy as well! This really is just the sort of feedback we need, in our quest to make CodeSpace and the Jumpstart Kit as good as they can be. Our Beta tester-students can be proud that they're improving the experience for lots of future students. Your suggestions, bug reports, enhancements, project ideas, etc., are ALL directly fed to our Engineering team to incorporate in this and future products.
Giulia, I'm glad to hear that you had the confidence to persevere, even though the micro:bit was at first intimidating! We tried to make the lessons so they'd put you at ease, and it seems like you became very comfortable writing code in a short time. That's wonderful! There's lots more in store for you, as the projects get even more interesting. We are still developing more projects, and we're excited to see what our engineers come up with next. We will definitely have a moving robot in the future also, with projects to teach you how to control it. The nice thing is, all the skills you're learning now are the same ones you'll need to control a robot :-)
Cindy, it's good that you mentioned how the python coding needs to be "typed", because we were wondering if that would be difficult for students. Lots of other programs try to teach coding without as much typing, but we thought students might really like it better this way once they got the hang of it. Your point about the micro:bit being delicate is a good one. Actually, it's more rugged than it looks - but it's good to treat it carefully. We thought students would like that it's what our engineers call "bare metal computing" - meaning it's obviously not a toy, or something hidden inside a plastic case. These are real electronic parts, just like the ones inside phones, computers, TVs, etc., and they really are small and delicate! We are working on better way to organize the parts that go along with the kit too, like the little speakers, and other sensors. You are right about the risk of those getting lost in a classroom (even a non-messy one!) If you have any ideas for that, we'd love to hear them.
Thanks again for the feedback!