Do your students ask about coding or computer science? Are you looking for an easy way to dip your toes into the ocean of computer science? Never fear, the Hour of Code is almost here! Get your students, and yourself, excited about the wide world of computer science by participating in a worldwide event.
The Hour of Code started in 2013 as an opportunity to show how accessible coding can be to anyone with access to a computer. Hour of Code is focused on the premise that every student should have the opportunity to become well-versed in computer science. They explain their mission as helping to build creative thinking, enhance problem solving, and strengthen logic and reasoning through computer science.
With the boom of computer based industries and careers, it seems like a no-brainer to introduce coding and computer skills to younger and younger students. You might be shocked by these statistical representations of coding and computer science:
- 71% of all new STEM jobs involve computing yet only 8% of STEM graduates are in computer science
- Studies have shown that students’ favorite subjects are the arts and computer science
- Women who study AP Computer Science in high school are ten times more likely to major in it in college and Black and Hispanic students are seven times more likely– the key is to start education early!
- A student who majors in computer science in college can earn 40% more than the average college graduate
- Jobs in computer science are everywhere. In fact, computing jobs are currently the top source of new jobs in the U.S.
- Only ten states have developed K-12 standards for computer science.
- In 2013, only 12 states allowed computer science to count for a math or science high school graduation requirement and now 34 states and D.C. allow it- some requirements are statewide, while other states let the schools decide
Less than half of the schools in the U.S. teach computer science . Hour of Code is on a mission to change those statistics! Last year, the wildly successful Hour of Code helped engage over 100 million students in computer science. This year, Hour of Code hopes you and your school will join the movement. No experience is necessary and the lessons are applicable to all ages. Hour of Code provides free one hour tutorials in over 45 languages and have already registered almost 70,000 events for this year!
Hour of Code happens each year during Computer Science Education Week. This year, it will be December 4-10.
Check out their simple how-to tutorial to see how you can run an Hour of Code and sign up to take part in this incredible and enriching experience. Make sure to watch some of the success stories from past years to get inspired!
BONUS CHALLENGE: You have an opportunity to win a celebrity chat for your class when you create an app, game, or design with Code.org and tag #HourOfCode and one of their celebrities to have a chance at winning a special video chat for your class! Check out what the celebrities are looking for in the projects, here!
We hope you can take advantage of this great program and let us know your thoughts once you do- happy coding! Please let us know if you would like more information about introducing a computer science curriculum to your school. You can also find year-round lesson plans and coding games at code.org.
Diving into the world of Computer Science can be a bit overwhelming for many students and teachers. Don’t be intimidated, there are dozens of online services that are dedicated to teaching students to code in fun, friendly and interactive ways. We wanted to dedicate a few blog posts to talk about some great options to start coding in the classroom. Enjoy!
Whenever the subject of coding comes up, our first response is always, “Have you tried Codecademy?” Codecademy is an excellent tool for easing students and teachers into the world of coding. If you have never written a line of code in your life, this is the place to start. The program is entirely free for the bulk of its content and spans many levels and languages. What makes Codecademy so accessible is that everything can be done from within the browser on any device. Since Codecademy does not require external downloads or applications, it can be used on shared devices like chromebooks, iPads,or lab computers. This means you never have to worry about saving files, distributing files to a class, or any of the messy techy jargon that can bog down the learning process.
Everything in Codecadamy is kept in one, easy-to-use place that allows teachers to track students progress. They provide a very clean, simple user interface with step-by-step instructions on the left side bar, a large colorful simplified text editor in the center, and the console output on the right. This layout is important because it allows the students to work on one page without needing to tab between several different windows and files.
Codecademy provides starter code and asks students to fill in bits and pieces rather than creating entire documents from scratch which can be very daunting for a beginner. With this program, everything is self contained within the web browser, which makes getting it up and running very easy. Codecademy offers courses in nearly every programming language and is an excellent choice for teachers who want to teach their students the basics of programming for free. Although most of Codecademy is free, they do offer a Pro Version for $20 per month. This adds additional features including projects, guided learning paths and quizzes. However, most of this is extra information and Codecademy does a great job of making all the content you need completely free.
Let us know what you think- is Codecademy a hit or are you still looking for other options to explore the world of coding with your students?
Google’s new Expedition Pioneer Program gives teachers the opportunity to provide their students with more interactive, immersive lessons- bringing the world into the classroom. Using their AR technology, this program maps out the physical classroom so students can look through a screen at their classroom and look at placed 3D objects. These 3D objects are not actually in the classroom but they can be seen through the screens using Google’s AR technology. For example, students can look at a 3D depiction of a tornado; they can walk around it and look at it up close to learn about how this storm works. It’s easiest to watch in action to understand what this program can do to elevate your students’ learning.
Interested in signing up for this innovative opportunity? Sign up here and let us know what you think!
New feature alert! We are excited to reveal our updated report distribution feature that has a clearer layout with better visuals and resend buttons that are easier to maneuver. You can access our support document for all the details of this new feature here and read below for a few highlights!
- “Bulk Reporting” will have you select your desired classroom, report type, and academic period and once you choose those filters, just hit “Send Report”.
- Reports send out within 20 minutes, sometimes even 10 minutes but depending on the email client of the parent, the time can differ. You can monitor this process through the dashboard.
- The dashboard allows you to view different statuses-via a bar graph- that explain different details such as how many reports have sent, how many have been opened, how many were posted, etc. This will give you information about who has opened the report or if there were any issues sending or receiving the report.
Our aim is always to make our system more user friendly and efficient for your needs- especially when it comes to communicating with parents. Let us know your thoughts and if you come across any issues not answered in our support document, feel free to contact the Beehively support team!
We want our teachers to be able to use their grade books to their fullest potential so we put together some quick guidelines to get the most out of this tool!
- The overview screen acts as your editable web view of the report card. Here you can view or override the subject grade and enter marks for each skill/standard.
- The subject grade is generated based on assignment scores, OR can be manually entered on this overview page.
- Click in the grade/mark box to pull up the scores from the selected grade definition.
- From the subject page, select “New Assignment”
- Enter in the assignment details, select the maximum points and category
- Use item level scoring to grade by the number of items
- Use the bulk assign option to assign the same score to all students
- Add to Homework Calendar to also post this to your Homework Calendar
- Use your keyboard to enter scores and see the student’s overall grade immediately recalculate
Adding and Removing Students
- Click the triangle next to the subject name to access all subjects for the class
- Click “Edit” to access the subject edit page
- To remove students from this subject, click the minus sign next to their name from the “Students” tab
- Click “Add Students” to select additional students from this class, or select a different class to add students from another homeroom
- Click the plus sign to add the students
- Don’t forget to SAVE!
Categories and Weighting
- Add the categories you use right to your subjects on the subject edit page
- Use your predefined categories, or type in your own
- Use weights to adjust your grading by category, or just use the categories to sort assignments
- Assigning a weight tells the system how to weight the assignments in that category
- Weights must total 100
We hope you find these informative as you individualize your grade books to what you need for your classes and students!
Still have questions? No problem-contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 851-4879 and we would be happy to help!
The building blocks of computer science and coding are becoming increasingly more important to understand in today’s world of ever-evolving technology. Luckily, Google has created a program called CS First that is a free and easy to use program designed for teachers to expose students to computer science through in and after-school clubs. The best part? No experience is necessary!
CS First aims to provide 4th-8th graders access to computer science education and increase their comfortability around computers. Clubs can be run for several days or weeks at a time and there are a wide range of themes such as storytelling, animation, sports, game design, music, etc. The curriculum is set up so that each club has eight projects within the chosen theme that help students build a basic foundation of computer science knowledge. There are also sample activities you can try out before signing up for a specific project theme.
The program provides teachers all the training and materials needed to begin and run a club. Once teachers have the students and access to computers, internet, and headphones- they are ready to start! Teachers can set up their club online, then CS First will give the teacher the curriculum and materials and the teacher is then free to organize the club how they see fit.
With over 700,000 users, CS First is an effective and user-friendly way to begin teaching students the important concepts of computer science and how to use technology to as a tool of creation and innovation.
And check out how CS First has already impacted a school district in Los Angeles!