Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Hour of Code
By Alex Landrigan
The Hour of Code occurs during the week of December 7-13th, which is also Computer Science Education Week. The goal of Hour of Code is to get tens of millions of people to perform one hour of coding at some point within that week. You can do the Hour of Code at anytime but this week is just more publicized. Hour of Code is run by Code.org, which is a public, non-profit organization. People from over 180 countries have participated! People can officially sign up on their website to be counted and there are even prizes for educators involved. The unique thing about the Hour of Code program is that it does not feel like you are coding. There are two options or views that can be utilized while completing the project. One looks like traditional coding sequences, while the other appears like puzzle pieces, making it possible for anyone to give coding a shot. Here is how to get involved with Hour of Code: https://hourofcode.com/us/promote.
Everyone can agree that 2015 is a time filled with technology. Everywhere we turn there is technology. Our phones have even become mini, portable computers that we take everywhere with us. There is all this use of these different devices but most cannot explain how they work. Yes, a person knows how to navigate their phone, but do they understand what is going on behind the screen? Most would think it is all very complicated but that is because they have never learned. Currently the pressure to have coding classes in school is heightening. Coding is what tells the computer what to do. Understanding coding helps a person understand the world around them. In elementary school we are taught the basics of science and math to help understand our world. Now coding needs to be added to that list. Children’s minds are like sponges, so ready to absorb all of the information they are learning, so if they were being taught these basics of technology from a young age, they would be more knowledgeable and ready to apply that knowledge in their everyday life. Coding can be fun and kids might not even know they are learning because often these learning experiences are disguised as games. Due to its nature, coding also builds and expands a person’s problem solving skills. These reasons are all why is necessary for coding to be taught in our schools today. There are many different activities to learn coding for all ages. Young children (who cannot even read yet) can do maze like activities that teaches them how a program moves things a certain way. Older children and adults can access tutorials or take special computer classes. Oyster River even has a programing class. Learning how to code prepares you for your future.
For my Hour of Code activity, I went into the PEP preschool classroom and taught ten 4-year-olds the basics of coding. They had to fill out a maze-like activity to get an object to a piece of fruit. They quickly grasped the concepts that I presented. I heard a lot of “This is so fun!” and “This is so easy!!” and all the children seemed to really enjoy the Hour of Code activity. I think it was a very successful activity.
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Hour of Code Logo. Digital image. The HoofBeat. N.p., 3 Feb. 2014. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.
Missio, Erik. "Why Kids Should Learn To Code." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 10 Apr. 2013. Web. 07 Dec. 2015.
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