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.
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.
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!
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!