Join the Worldwide Event: Hour of Code!

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:

  1. 71% of all new STEM jobs involve computing yet only 8% of STEM graduates are in computer science
  2. Studies have shown that students’ favorite subjects are the arts and computer science
  3. 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!
  4. A student who majors in computer science in college can earn 40% more than the average college graduate
  5. Jobs in computer science are everywhere. In fact, computing jobs are currently the top source of new jobs in the U.S.
  6. Only ten states have developed K-12 standards for computer science.
  7. 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

Source: https://hourofcode.com/us/promote/stats

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.

Coding in the Classroom Series: Codecademy

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?