December 7-13, 2015 is Computer Science Education Week, and it is a great time to host or participate in an Hour of Code activity. Hour of Code is a worldwide initiative to give young people (as well as teachers, parents, and other adults) an introduction to coding and computer science through an engaging one hour activity.
Why Teach and Learn Coding?
In addition to the very real need to introduce more students to a promising and lucrative career field, coding can provide applications and benefits for students of all ages and interests across all content areas. Code.org explores some of these connections in this section from their Curriculum Philosophy:
Students should understand that computer science…
- is for everyone
- is fun, engaging, and more approachable than traditionally portrayed
- is an outlet for creative personal expression
- plays an important role as a distinct discipline of study, but also stands to augment the study of other domains
- involves more than just programming
- is important to their lives, regardless of their interests or career path they choose
- work involves collaborating in an equitable learning environment where they support their peers so all can flourish
- can be effectively taught using both computer-based and non-computer activities, which reinforce one another
- can be used as a tool for helping others through socially relevant learning experiences
- involves problem solving that can be challenging. It is not always easy but like any difficult puzzle, the challenge makes it fun and teaches perseverance.
How To Do an ‘Hour of Code’ Activity
If you are a teacher who would like to do an hour of code activity with your students, you can start with this How to Teach One Hour of Code guide for ideas, resources, and tutorials for your students. Code.org, the sponsor of the Hour of Code, provides a collection of coding tutorials and activities for students of all ages and experience levels– including “unplugged” coding activities for classrooms without devices. The Hour of Code is not limited to the K-12 classroom, however. Interested students can also access these tutorials and participate in Hour of Code on their own, and parents can use these resources to do an Hour of Code activity with their children. Adults interested in getting experience with coding are also invited and encouraged to participate.
Please note that Hour of Code activities can be done at any time, not just during this week of December, so it is never too late to explore these resources with students. While numerous teachers have already shared these activities with their students prior to Computer Science Education Week, others plan to do coding activities later in the year. You can see some examples of Hour of Code activities happening in Granite classrooms by following the #gsdedtech hashtag on twitter. We will be sharing many of these pictures and tweets in a post on this blog next week. If you have additional resources, pictures, student work, or experiences from trying coding in your classroom or home, please feel free to share in the comment section below or on social media.