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