Hour of Code

The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. Every year in December, your class can join millions of students around the world celebrating Computer Science Education Week with the Hour of Code. Schools around the world take part in this event. It can also be done any time of the year. And any school can sign up to host an Hour of Code. At my school, December is a good time to host this event as it is timed just before Christmas and usually Children are starting to get a little hyperactive thinking about what will be in Santa’s Sock! Games such as Minecraft are addictive and in my experience, all kids want to play them!

Programming is the process of creating a set of instructions that tell a computer how to perform a task. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Black Eyed Peas founder will.i.am and NBA star Chris Bosh have all talked openly about the importance of programming. Children are introduced to a variety of programming concepts by creating fun games, art, and animations. Kid coders will learn problem solving and logical thinking skills. 

On websites such as Code.org or Tynker.com, you can find coding puzzles aimed at students as young as Grade 2 and all the way up to Grade 6 and beyond. In Grade 2, games such as “Puppy Adventure” teach students how to add programming blocks together to make a dog bark, etc. This introduces students to a fundamental skill found in Scratch, Lego WeDo and Mindstorms, etc. This basically means that students who have never coded before can easily find resources that get them programming in a fun and engaging manner.

There are many famous games on the Hour of Code website including Minecraft and Angry Birds. For teachers, it is easy to create an account for students to use, and this allows them to track their progress in safe environment.

Author: Piers Midwinter
Piers Midwinter is a Qualified Teacher, Native English Speaker, ex-Company director, and ex-University lecturer. He lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam
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