Can You Code?

Do you know how to write computer programs? If so, was it something you learned in elementary school? The Hour of Code is a program available to teach the basics of coding to all ages, genders, races, and socioeconomic statuses. The creators also wrote computer science curriculum for K-12th grades. The best part is: everything Hour of Code offers is completely free to educators!

Computer literacy is such an important skill to have in this generation. Most students will graduate high school knowing the “basics” of computer use. Hour of Code takes students so much further. The creators of Hour of Code originally had a goal for millions of students to participate during the week of December 8-14, 2014. You could participate alone or host an “Hour of Code” event. So many classrooms participated as well, using the free curriculum to help guide them. Even though the week for the Hour of Code has passed, the tutorials and curriculum are always available to use in your room.

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As if coding could be anymore fun, they’ve recently started using Anna and Elsa from Frozen to guide the tutorials!

I finished the tutorial in less than an hour, but I would plan for it to take and hour or more. There are 20 mini-tutorials that teach different skill sets. Traditionally, coding is done using text. With Hour of Code tutorials, students will be using “Blockly”, which is a much simpler form of coding for beginners. The tutorial is filled with instructional videos starring famous models and actors and noted technology leaders. An interesting feature to note is that once the student completes the “Blockly” code, they’re given an option to see what they just coded in text form.

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Introducing students to computer science starting in primary school is so important. In the 21st century, we use so many applications and programs that are written by talented computer scientists around the world. However, according to Hour of Code, there is a shortage of people with computer science degrees or training and millions of jobs open. Also, there is a lack of diversity in the computer science/information technology field. Starting to learn about coding and computer science in Kindergarten, as Hour of Code’s curriculum and “all ages” tutorials allow, will help inspire so many students that would never have had the opportunity before. Here is a PDF with facts about Texas from Hour of Code.

At the end of your hour, students will get a certificate of completion with their name that you can print out and hang on the wall or send home. But the coding doesn’t stop there. There are so many more activities, games, apps, and tutorials to continue growing the students’ knowledge of coding. Watch this video to inspire you and get your students excited to start coding!

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If you’ve done the Hour of Code in your classroom, let me know how your students enjoyed it and how you like the curriculum!

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12 thoughts on “Can You Code?

  1. This is a great summary about coding. As a math teacher, coding can lead to so many great technology opportunities that students themselves will be able to create. One of my current Algebra 1 students is learning coding in different languages (java, etc) and he is creating math apps for cell phones, iPads, and he is even creating apps he uses in class to help him do math quicker. This is a great introduction to get our students active and learning something new.

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    1. This would be great for a math classroom! Although the content is probably less challenging than your students would require, it involves a lot of math and is a great place to start for younger students.

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  2. Hi Jacklyn, Although I am not a teacher and I am just beginning to understand coding, I think it is important to give students all the necessary skills to succeed in a competitive climate. Most children have been exposed to computers at a young age and are comfortable and fearless when it comes to technology. I think it is the perfect time to expose them to as much technology as possible so that they are ready for the real world. There will always be something new on the horizon, but at least if students can keep up, they will be well prepared for life.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I don’t think it is ever too early to start teaching students practical skills they can use in the real world. Plus, the Hour of Code is a very fun way to learn!

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  3. Thank you for posting this! I’ve never understood code but I’ve always wanted to learn more about it. I’m glad that schools are starting to incorporate this into their curriculum. It seems like common sense that these future adults will need this skill. Maybe it’s not too late for me to learn, either!

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  4. This post is very informative, thanks! Before Educ 584 I had never heard of Hour of Code, but it seems like a really neat and educational app. I’ve always associated coding with computer engineering and thought it was out of my league, but it seems like the app is geared at all different levels. I’m excited to try it out, thanks for the info!

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  5. This is so neat! My boyfriend knows how to do this, and he always expresses how helpful it would be, especially for the future. It would be great to start teaching in elementary school! I’m going to have to look in to the hour of code!

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  6. The hour of code is a task that I have wanted to try with my students. I will play with this tool with my students during the summer. I love the PDF with facts about Texas!

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  7. This looks so interesting!! To be honest the idea of coding has always seemed intimidating to me but your embedded images make it seem very accessible. Beyond that, I think there are so many students who would love to jump right into it and would also love the experience of being able to teach a teacher how to do it so it’s definitely something I’ll play with!

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  8. This is the first time I have ever heard of Hour of Code, and now I want to try it! So many of my friends were computer science majors in college, and I never understood what they were doing. It’s also a career that few women are in, so what a great way to introduce a tool or possible career early. This is definitely a skill set that can be used, and it being taught the earlier, the better!! Thank you for this descriptive post, I can’t wait to try it!

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