Top 3 Tips to get started with MakeCode

We all know how important it is to teach computer science and we all have our own favourite tools to use. But how can we ensure basic code building is truly meaningful? Are we inspiring learners to become lifelong coders?

 Blog Series written by Microsoft Learning Consultant: Liz Wilson

MakeCode works with a range of devices, so whatever your school is using, be it the Micro:bit, Circuit Playground Express, Minecraft, Sparkfun inventors kit or Chibi Chip your learners will be able to create. And if you don't have any, they can still code, using the built in simulator 



MakeCode is made up if 3 key sections. The simulator allows learners to receive immediate feedback on how their program is running, enabling them to make quick changes and debug their code. Once they are happy with their program, it is quick and easy to upload it to their device. The Block Editor is a great introduction to coding using coloured blocks that they can drag and drop into their workspace while the JavaScript Editor enables learners to code using this text based programming language. A fantastic feature is that users can hop in and out of the two different editors, enabling them to progress at their own level and make the essential links between the two.  



Top 3 tips 

  1. Not sure where to start? Check out the projects already on MakeCode. There is a great selection from creating a banana keyboard to a railway crossing. And they all come with clear guidance on how to complete the project.  
  2.  Projects don't need to be expensive. Using simple resources that you already have access to will make your learners more creative in their solutions.  
  3.  Share your wonderful work! Connect with the community by publishing your projects through MakeCode and Tweeting your successes – don't forget to tag @Microsofteduk 



Looking to build your understanding of coding? Complete the ‘Physical computing for the non-computer science educator’ course on the Microsoft Educator Community and earn a new badge.  



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