Last week was a great week for Bits & Bytes. The crowd funding campaign continued to go from strength to strength and publicity around the game grew to the point that BBC chose to feature Bits & Bytes in a news story about the tools primary schools are using to children to learn code. Fantastic kudos for Bits & Bytes.
I thought the story was great. The way the children’s faces are alive and they are clearly engaged. Also I thought there were a couple of “takeaways” that most people would probably have missed. I want to caveat this by saying any tool that empowers children into coding (and creates a diverse and creative audience for coding) is great. With that said, I couldn’t help but notice in the news story when they showed the children using Scratch on their computers they were quiet. Yes they were engaged with their screens – but is it just me who finds that odd, especially for children in KS1? Do we really want children to be learning in solitude with their eyes glued to their screens? The other tool featured were the Bee-Bots, which are great – but it was obvious from the news story that only a couple of children can use them at any time and they cost £60 each. Seems like an expensive option.
Of course, I am biased. But I love the way the children were playing with Bits & Bytes. Eyes wide open. Collaborating. Laughing. Studying their next move. And all at the same time learning the fundamentals of computer coding. Best of all, it costs £15 (early bird price) for one game of Bits & Bytes that four children can play at the same time.
You can watch the news story above.