I want to teach my child about programming. But Teaching child to sit steadily and keep watching computer screen is not easy, I think, for children usually can’t focus on the boring developing IDE for more than ten minutes. Therefore I try to find some micro-controller which could be used to do some interesting works for kids, such as getting temperature/humidity from the environment, or control micro motors on toy car.
There are many micro-controller or micro-computer chips on the market. Then I have to compare them and finally choose the most suitable one.
Raspberry PI is very powerful. It could do almost anything that a personal computer or laptop can do. But the problem about Raspberry PI is it is too difficult to learn for a child. And another reason I give up it is the price: $35 for only the bare chip without any peripherals.
Arduino is cheap enough. But you could only use C-language to program it. Using C-language need strong knowledge about computer science, such as memory models and data structures. Imaging use C-language to implement a working-well dictionary, it looks like building a space ship in the backyard for a pupil.
Until now, I could narrow my choices to chips that could support python, or micro-python. Because Python is easy to understand, looks much straightforward, and also could be used in imperative mode. In one word, it’s much easier to learn than C.
So let’s take a look at chips which support micro-python.
Pyboard is simple and cheap enough, and also supports micro-python. The only imperfection of it is that its hardware interface is hard to use for someone who doesn’t know hardware very well.
So this is my choice: Micro:bit.