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The Hour of Code Wrap-up


codeLast week marked yet another year in which the worldwide event known as the Hour of Code, an initiative sponsored by and Computer Education Science Week was held to introduce computer programming to students around the globe. In fact, these organizations believe every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science as it fosters problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. The belief is that by starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. What’s more—it is projected that by the 2020 there will be 1,000,000 more technical jobs than there are qualified individuals to fill them!

So, why did I participate in this event? Besides the fact that students can hone computational thinking (problem decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, algorithmic thinking and automation) and programming concepts (repetition, conditional logic, computer drawing, handling keyboard input and creating apps), those who have the knack and/or desire to choose a career in this market are going to be able to pretty much name their job and even their salary.

In addition, not only does coding help students learn problem solving and creative thinking skills, it teaches them to be risk-takers, persistent and to persevere in the face of frustration—skills that are relevant in all sorts of other activities in both school and the “real world”. Furthermore, even if students do not wish to become die hard computer scientists for a living, they can become adept at developing games and apps by starting with some of the basics. Wouldn’t it be super cool to find one of their creations in the iTunes Store someday?

Oh, and did you know some experts are saying that teaching kids how to code is pretty much as important as teaching them to write? Yep, read here about how Apple’s senior VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, believes that coding is the next level of literacy.

So, throughout last week a total of 424 different students in Grades 3-12 in my District had the opportunity to work on at least one coding activity; approximately 85 of these same students met with me more than once to complete additional activities on three different web sites/tools:, Tynker & Khan Academy. Check out some of my Hour of Code rocks stars in action!

Hour of Code

Classroom Connection:

The founders of Google, Microsoft and Facebook all started their journeys with just one line of code. Like these successful entrepreneurs, our students should have the opportunity to create the technology of the future, not just use it! That said, join over 54.7 million students in classrooms spanning the globe as they venture into the language of computer programming by participating in the Hour of Code.

Although the Hour of Code is officially over, that doesn’t mean you have to stop coding with your students—or if you haven’t even started, now would be a great time to give it a test drive! I realize that computer science sounds intimidating to some, but the activities on the sites mentioned below literally require no computer programming skills at all. If your students can type, they can code! And you know what? You can even learn, too!

Need some resources? Besides, Tynker & Khan Academy, the following sites are also curriculum providers life beyond the Hour of Code: CodecademyCode Avengers, Scratch and Hopcotch to name a few. If one of these sites or apps is not what you want or need, then just Google “coding resources for students”. You’ll find more info than you’ll even know what to do with!

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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