Apps, Computer Science, Education, K-12, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Websites

Tried and True – Hour of Code

On this blog, I tend to post about a lot of ideas that I find, and some readers don’t always get a chance to know if I ever tried them – or if they were complete flops.  This week, I want to feature a few past ideas that I did try and that were successful – and that I definitely want to do again.

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One of my 2nd grade students using the Hopscotch app during Hour of Code

Last year, my students participated in the Hour of Code during CSEd Week 2013.  I have a pull-out GT program, and I did coding with every grade level that I had at the time (1st-5th) throughout Computer Science Education week.  The students really enjoyed it, and many of my older students continued various coding projects afterwards at home and at school.  The younger ones were always excited when I included a coding activity in one of our centers the rest of the year.

In my post on Trends for Education in the 2013-2014 School Year, I predicted that the topic of teaching coding in our schools would be popular.  There have been many articles to attest to this in recent months.  There is even a regular #kidscancode chat on Twitter in which educators participate to discuss the place of programming in our schools. (Tweet @kodable for the next one scheduled if you are interested.)  Google has offered its own material to support the resolution to introduce more young people, particularly girls, to coding.  I believe that 2013’s Hour of Code really brought the discussion to the mainstream – and this year will be even better.

In a recent e-mail advertising this year’s Hour of Code (December 8-14, 2014), Hadi Partovi promises that, by fall, will offer :

  • 3 levels of elementary courses (K-1, 2-3, 4-5)
  • Free, one-day curriculum workshops for elementary teachers beginning in September. Sign up to be notified when a workshop is scheduled in your area.
  • Middle school programming activities for math and science classes. Learn more

Of course, that is in addition all of the wonderful tutorials and courses already being offered on their site!

The great thing about resources is that you do not have to be familiar with coding to introduce your students to the subject.  The site addresses all levels of knowledge – and even give “unplugged” activity suggestions for those without access to a computer.

I definitely intend to participate in Hour of Code again this year, and I hope many more people will, too!

For more coding links, check out my Programming for Kids Pinterest Board.

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