There are a number of alternative devices to the microbit for use in the primary classroom:
Crumble Controller – http://4tronix.co.uk/blog/?p=894 – Crumble is a tiny circuit board to enable children to learn programming and simple electronics using a Scratch-like interface. Crumbs – http://4tronix.co.uk/blog/?p=921 – or add-on components, can be used to give the board extra functionality, while the CrumbleBot – http://4tronix.co.uk/blog/?p=1004 – adds wheels, motors and light sensors to turn the device into a basic, moving robot. The Crumble can be extended even further through the use of the Crumble PlayGround and Gizmos, which allow additional components to be added without the need for crocodile clips – http://4tronix.co.uk/blog/?p=1425 Phil Bagge’s Crumble Creations book is a good starting point – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Code-Crumble-Creations-Phil-Bagge/dp/1912500019
Raspberry Pi – https://www.raspberrypi.org/ – a tiny, powerful, affordable computer, that can be used to learn programming through a range of practical project. The Pi Zero – https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/pi-zero/ – can be embedded within other devices, while kits such as the Cam Jam Edu Kits – http://camjam.me/?page_id=618 – provide an introduction to basic electronics. Add-on boards, or Hats, enable simple access to lights, buzzers and buttons, such as the Pibrella – http://pibrella.com/ – and Pi Stop – http://4tronix.co.uk/store/index.php?rt=product/product&product_id=390 Similar to the CrumbleBot, the Pi2Go – http://4tronix.co.uk/blog/?p=452 add wheels, motors and sensors.
Sphero – http://www.sphero.com/ – the Sphero devices can be programmed using a tablet to enable pupils to guide the robot around a certain area, such as an assault course. The introduction of the Sphero Mini has made the device more affordable for schools
CodeBug – http://www.codebug.org.uk/ – a programmable and wearable, similar to the microbit, which uses an online editor for programming. The device can be powered by a watch battery, rather than USB, to help make the unit more compact when not connected to a computer
InO-Bot – http://www.tts-group.co.uk/ino-bot-scratch-programmable-bluetooth-floor-robot/1009821.html – Scratch programmable Bluetooth robot, which can also be programmed with an iOS app
BlueBot – http://www.tts-group.co.uk/blue-bot-bluetooth-programmable-floor-robot/1007812.html – the latest version of the ever popular BeeBot, the BlueBot can be programmed using a tablet and provides a great introduction to the computing curriculum for KS1 pupils
Lego WeDo 2.0 – https://education.lego.com/en-gb/primary/explore/c/wedo2-subject-areas – pupils can control various motors and sensors, which are all connected together using Lego. The devices can be programmed using Lego’s programming environment, or connected to Scratch – https://scratch.mit.edu/