by Devin Flynn (writing & research)

MakeCode is a free, online coding platform which allows for creative, engaging learning experiences.  Designed by Microsoft, this open source platform supports students on a progression path into real-world programming. This learning platform brings computer science to life for all students with fun projects, immediate results, and both block and text editors for all low floor to high ceiling learning. 

MakeCode allows students to engage in a multitude of different coding experiences through micro:bit, Circuit Playground, Minecraft, Arcade, and many others. One of the large benefits of using MakeCode is that it starts with block based coding which makes it easy for younger students and first time learners to understand. When learners are ready to progress to the next level, they can move into a fully integrated JavaScript editor that includes code snippets, tooltips, and error detection to help guide them.

Distance Learning Opportunity: 

MakeCode functions in both the physical classroom and the virtual classroom. With both micro:bit and Circuit Playground Express, there are online simulators built into the coding space of MakeCode, which will instantly display the function of the coding sequence. This will allow students to understand the function of coding without having the physical micro:bit or Circuit Playground Express on hand. For an entirely online experience, Microsoft has designed a complete course for an Introduction to Computer Science with MakeCode for Minecraft. This 10 lesson course targets students in grades 6-8, and is designed for teachers who may have never taught computer science before. An activity such as this will build students’ understanding of coding gradually, and allow them to pull everything together for one final project, allowing various assessment opportunities.

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