In the near future, there will be 1.4 million programming jobs available. But only about 400,000 people to fill them. Let’s help our students and children get ready for the future. One way to do that is Hour of Code. If you don’t know about the Hour of Code yet, you are missing out on a global experience that prepares students to engage in computational thinking. Tutorials and hands-on activities focus on a visual programming environment, programming language, app programming, and “unplugged” activities. Best of all, there is little work you have to do as a teacher to impact students!
When Will It Take Place?
The Hour of Code is December 5-11, 2016. You can schedule an hour of activities during class time, after school (perhaps as part of a club/organization), or encourage students to use free time at home.
Who Sponsors Hour of Code?
Hour of Code, launched in 2013, is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science, as well as increasing participation by women (Watch video and See Made with Code) and under-represented students of color. The vision is that every student in school should have the opportunity to to be exposed to computer science skills. Hour of Code founders also support the idea that that computer science and programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other STEM courses.
Why Try an Hour of Code?
This activity helps demystify coding, programming, and computer science, helping each student learn the basics. Watch the Anyone Can Learn (60 seconds) video. Some may not realize that coding is applied mathematics, enabling students to learn new math concepts through programming. Introducing students to programming environments helps them represent math concepts visually and allows them to experiment on the representation. It also enables students to develop problem-solving skills, which translate well into the math classroom.
How Do You Get the Hour of Code Going District-wide?
Be sure to get buy in and help. You can do this by reaching out to campus principals, teachers, and/or organizational leaders. Schedule date(s) and time(s), organize instructors and helpers, as well as provide an agenda for each Hour of Code event. Publicize the event through flyers, blog entries, social media, and more. Record video/audio interviews with coders, young and old, and share them. Check out how NorthEast ISD has organized their Hour of Code event.
Apps and Programs by Grade Level
- Grades PreK-2
- Grades 3-8
- Code.org: Write your first computer program featuring Angry Birds
- Touch Develop: Combine this with Microsoft’s Creative Coding through Games and Apps (CCGA) curriculum for a rich variety of coding on the go.
- Scratch: Create a holiday card
- Tynker: Build your own game.
- Robomind Academy: Program a virtual robot.
- Hopscotch: Code on your iPad and explore math concepts like units of measure, degrees, angles, coordinate planes.
- Grades 6-12
- In addition to Code.org, Scratch, Touch Develop, consider these additional age-appropriate coding tools:
Find more resources online at the web sites below:
- Code.org Educator Resources
- K-12 Curriculum Suggestions
- Code.org’s K-5 Curriculum
- Code.org’s K-8 Intro Course
Remember, you don’t have to be a genius to do math, to read, to write, or code. Get started now and in a year, your students will be coding!