Join or Organise the Annual Hour of Code (December 4-10)

Anybody can Learn!

Anybody can learn to code these days, and Computer science education equips us for the technologically advancing world.

Knowing how to code helps you not only to create websites and automate things, but also to create art, write, communicate, solve problems, and do a million other things.

maddy_maxey hour of code

Coding for Kids also promotes logical and analytical thinking.

The good news is that coding can be easily learnt by both kids and adults. Initiatives like the annual Hour of Code promote Computer science education, and aim to introduce millions of learners to the subject with interesting activities and lessons.

Anybody, anywhere can code!

Platforms like code.org and freecodecamp offer free and easy-to-follow ‘coding for kids’ courses, with which you can learn to build websites, apps and games. In fact, Apps like ScratchJr and Tynker have coding lessons and activities for kids as young as 4 years of age.

obama hour of coding

Today, you can do everything with the help of coded platforms and apps–ordering food and clothes, creating art, reading, studying, working and playing games.

With the ever-changing entertainment, education, and other needs of humans, a huge skill gap is about to occur in the programming world. It will bring myriad of job opportunities for young learners and industry veterans.

Therefore, gaining coding skills and computer science knowledge is valuable, no matter what profession you are in or plan to get into.

coding workforce

The annual Hour of Code helps introduce learners to Computer science, and you can join or organise an Hour of code without any prior experience. You can even organise one in less time, and without much resources. Read on how to.

 

What is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is an initiative by Code.org and Computer Science Education Week to promote Computer science education among learners.  It includes undertaking ‘coding for kids and adults’ activities and lessons for an hour, in any language, by learners of all age groups.

This year, the annual Hour of Code is being joined  by millions of users worldwide from December 4-10th, during Computer Science Education Week, which is held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

You can join or organise an Hour of Code in your school or community.

And again remember, anybody can code, and even teach how to. Don’t just take my word for it, watch this video:

How to organise an Hour of Code?

To organise an Hour of Code you can do a few easy-peasy things mentioned below:

1. Register your interest on the HourOfCode website.

This will put you on the map with millions of other coders who are participating in the event. Some people might also find you through the map, and join you for the event.

 

2. If required, find local volunteers to help you. https://code.org/volunteer/local

 

3. Spread the word in your school or community.

Post on social media about the event, using #hourofcode.

Also, promote your event through emails–Invite media, local politicians, parents and friends.

 

4. Download and print promotional resources like posters, stickers, and social media images for spreading the word and to display during the event.

You’ll find poster, stickers Social media images and Email templates on Hourofcode’s Resources page.

 

5. Plan your technology needs. Decide whether you want to conduct the event in a computer lab, classroom or your home.

You can use school facilities or request parents to arrange computer or mobile devices.

You can also do pair programming if you have less devices.

Offline activities can be undertaken on tablets and mobile devices.

You can also choose to do unplugged activities, outdoors or indoors, to teach and learn programming concepts, if you do not want to use any computer or device.

 

6. Select an Hour of Code activity that you want to conduct.

Both online and offline coding activities are available on the Hour Of Code website.

It has activities from EdTech companies like Khan Academy, Tynker, Code.org, and Scratch. You can filter activities as per the following parameters:

  • Technology: Computers, Android, iPad/iPhone, poor or no internet, and no computer or mobile devices
  • Topics: Science, Math, Social Studies, Language, Arts, Media, Music, and Computer science only
  • Type: Self-led tutorial and Lesson plan
  • Duration: One hour, one hour with follow-on, and a few hours
  • Language: Blocks, typing, and others

Visit the website to choose from Hour of Code activities that have served 467,103,055 learners across 180+ countries. You will find activities in 45 languages.

There are activities like Minecraft Hour of Code, JavaScript lessons, Make a flappy game, Code with Anna and Elsa (Frozen), Code combat: Build your own game, Dragon Blast, Code your name with Scratch, and Program in Python with Tracy the Turtle.

You will also find Robotics and Circuit-based activities there. They are fun to undertake if you can find the right resources.

Tips:

  • Choose an activity you like, as per the age and prior coding knowledge of the learners.
  • You can try out the activity before the event, so that you are ready for questions asked during your Hour of Code.

 

7. Start the event with an inspiring video or speech.

You can find inspirational videos on the resources page of HourOfCode website.

Print, and give out stickers to students.

 

8. Code! Have fun coding and teaching how to code. Just enjoy the activities, and encourage the participants to have fun while learning.

Encourage your learners to share ideas and knowledge, work together, and tap their imaginations to think creatively.

 

9. Celebrate! It’s important to appraise small or big achievements.

You can also give participation certificates to the learners to encourage them.

If you have the budget, you can also give out coding-themed t-shirts. You can find some on the code.org’s store.

 

10. Post pictures of your event on social media platforms using #HourOfCode and @codeorg, so that the HourOfCode team can highlight your event and success

 

11. At last, encourage learners to extend their Computer science education beyond that Hour of Code, by learning to code online.

Teachers can join the HourOfCode teacher forum to share and gain knowledge on how to teach and apply coding in a fun and effective way.

 

I hope this small guide on ‘how to conduct or organise an Hour of Code’ is useful to you.

You can also watch this 3-minute video on how to organise your event.

Gear up for your Hour of Code during the Computer Science Education Week, December 4-10, 2017.

Comment below if you have any questions on how to arrange any part of your event.

We will keep trying to bring information about more such revolutionary programmes and events. Till then, have fun coding, amigos!

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