For many people, computer programming, or "coding," is a topic that seems like a foreign language. In a lot of ways it is. There is an entire language that needs to be learned to be able to write a computer program that directs a computer, tablet or app what to do. However, its not as complicated as many make it out to be. In fact, HourOfCode.org has put coding in simple terms for everyone, starting at age 4, and also has "unplugged" tools to learn code if a computer is not available.
So what is the "Hour of Code?"
"Launched in 2013, Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Our vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. We believe computer science should be part of core curriculum, alongside other courses such as biology, chemistry or algebra." - code.org/about
Hour of Code 2015
Essentially, the Hour of Code was created to break the misconceptions about coding, and get a new generation into creating online material. As our country moves away from the industrial age of manufacturing, and into the technological age of computers, understanding computers and how they work will be a highly marketable skill. The Hour of Code is a chance for people of all ages, races, genders, socioeconomic and computer skill levels to be introduced to one of the most needed areas of software development in a fun, differentiated learning environment.
Hour of Code Introduction
Hour of Code: Star Wars Introduction
Hour of Code: Minecraft Introduction
So if you haven't, check out Code.org, log in with your GAFE account (all teachers and students already have them) and start learning how to code. Its easy, its free, its educational, and most importantly, its enjoyable! The goal is for everyone to spend one hour playing with the games, but if its introduced to students, its almost guaranteed that they will continue to spend much more time on their own learning how to code. Give it a shot this week!