During the week of December 4-8, many of the RCISD teachers will be participating in the “Hour of Code”. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer programming, designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn. Participants don’t need any prior experience or even a computer.
Computer science is a foundational field for every 21st century career or field of study. Learning the basics of computer science prepares students for a world that is increasingly dominated by technology. Research shows that students who study computer science also perform better at math. Besides, computer science is where the jobs are. More than 50% of all jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are computing jobs.
What is Computer Science Education Week?
Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an annual program dedicated to showing K-12 students the importance of computer science education. CSEdWeek is held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).
What is the Hour of Code?
The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer programming, designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn. Your Hour of Code can take place any time during CS Ed Week!
Existing computer science teachers can create their own Hour of Code lesson, if they want. For everyone else, we’ll provide self-guided tutorials that anybody can do. Participants don’t need any prior experience or even a computer.
Do we need computers for every participant?
NO COMPUTERS NEEDED! We will curate a selection of computer science tutorials that work on PC’s, smartphones, and tablets – so really you can join wherever you are with whatever you have.
If you have more than one device, research shows that students learn best when they are pair programming, sharing a computer. So encourage your students to double up. If using smartphones, they can take turns.
If you have only one internet-connected device, then you can have an audience interactively shout out answers while you go through the tutorial on a shared screen using a projector.
And if you don’t have any internet-connected devices, you can still participate. Computer Science is all about problem solving, logic, and design, so you can start with pencil and paper (like some of the best professional programmers) using “unplugged” tutorials (see example “unplugged” tutorials: by NCWIT or by ThinkerSmith).
Do I need to know any computer science to host an Hour of Code?
No. Hour of Code modules and tools are self-directed. All you have to do is pick the tutorial you want and pick an hour — we take care of the rest. You can learn more about the tutorials here.
Teacher Resources and Contests
Teachers and administrators interested in participating must commit to spending at least one hour during Computer Science Week on coding skills with their students. No registration to participate is required. But those educators who do register for the free event are entered to win great prizes.
A free curriculum with complete lesson plans is available for grades K-12 and includes fun activities on popular topics such as Star Wars, Minecraft, and the Frozen characters. And there are even non-technology activities you can do if you don’t have access to computers in your classroom. If you don’t know how to code yourself, that’s also not a problem as the curriculum is designed for the students to work through on their own or in pairs.
Specific how-to’s on conducting an Hour of Code are available here. Get your students involved in problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity. By starting early, your students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.
Below are some resources to get you started and have an #HourofCode in your classroom. We will also be holding contests and giving away some great prizes. Check it out below!
Social Media Challenge
Be sure to add #HourofCode and #RCISDJOY to all tweets this week. We will be watching and will award prizes of FREE days off. The staff at Code.org will also be watching and you could win prizes for your classroom!
Each student has the opportunity to win some great prizes. To be eligible, students will complete one of the three sample activities on the CS First website. Students can use the button below to submit the link to their activity!
Use the above form to track #HourofCode activities for your classroom. The campus with the most teachers/classrooms participating in the #HourofCode will win $500 toward a maker space or maker space supplies! (For fairness, participation is based proportionally by enrollment and staff size.)