Codebug for teaching code in your class
What is it
CodeBug itself is pretty small, and it comes with two buttons, six I/O connector “legs” and a CR2032 battery slot, and an uncanny ability to make a grown man excited about its shape. It also has a 5×5 red LED matrix, which looks like it’s going to be very useful, and some sort of odd connector for… connecting it to things.
The quick-start guide is equally well-designed, with very simple instructions both in illustration and in text form, and basically just tells you how to turn the CodeBug on and off, how to fit a battery in and how to program it. After reading the short instructions, we’re ready to start!
The getting started guide is online, and mentioned in various places in the documentation, box, as well as in the home page of the site. Since I’m of the opinion that documentation is the most important thing when trying to program a new platform or library, I find this multitude of links to the documentation a very good sign.
To program, you just select a block from the few categories on the right, and drag it in to your program. Learning to use this editor was very intuitive, and the tutorial is so easy to follow that a few friends who had no prior exposure to programming found it very easy to create a simple program that would scroll text on the LED screen.
What do I think?
All in all, I find the CodeBug a very exciting project. For someone with no prior programming exposure (i.e. someone that is not me), the website makes it easy to start by providing ideas, documentation, courses and sample code, as well as a simple visual editor. As far as I can tell, there’s an I2C interface on the bug as well, which will enable communicating with more peripherals later on, and the I/O ports already allow you to talk to other devices.
It is going to be a very simple and fun tool to use in Primary Coding.