Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Hour of CODE is almost here!!!!

Mark your calendars for the hour of code week! 

Computer science is foundational for all students today. Yet 90% of schools don't teach it. Last December, 15 million students tried computer science in one week, thanks to educators like you! Since then, over 40 million students have tried the Hour of Code. Please help this grassroots, teacher-driven campaign reach 100 million students by the end of the year. Sign up to participate in Hour of Code 2014 during December 8-14, Computer Science Education Week.

I participated last year with my elementary students at St. Michael's.  I knew absolutely nothing about coding before we began.  Let's just say that my mind was blown!  The kids absolutely LOVE this stuff.  They learn to think critically, problem solve creatively, and provide exact step-by-step directions in order to accomplish a task.  The first day of class this year, the #1 question I got from my 2nd-5th graders was "Are we going to do the coding stuff again?".  Now that's an endorsement!

Check out these resources here:
  • Code.org - Block based coding that allows anyone from preschoolers to centurions learn the basics of coding while programing angry birds, plants vs. zombies, or even Elsa and Anna from Frozen to follow simple directions.  If your kids really get into it, feel free to explore the curriculum I discussed in this blog post
  • CodeAcademy.com - If you teach older students, you may want to check out CodeAcademy.  With CodeAcademy, students are walked through the steps of actually typing out their own code and seeing the magic happen all on the same screen.  They also offer a 1 hour "Intro to Coding" course, perfect for the Hour of Code.
  • Scratch - Created by MIT, this program allows students to use building block programing to write code.  Great next steps!
All these program are free!  So check them out today.  You are never to young (or old) to learn to code.  Let's all learn together!

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