I tend to have the “all-ages” beat here at WhatchaReading?, and that means I get to check out cool things like Star Wars Reads Day (did you participate?) and Cthulhu comics for kids. It also means that I get to tell you good people about things like The Hour of Code initiative from Code.org, which asks that we all pledge an hour out of our day in December to teach our kids how to code – and learn, ourselves.
I found out about Code.org when my son was mentored by a NASA specialist over the summer. He introduced Alex (yep, he’s also the kid playing Magic with Dean Trippe at NYCC – the family that geeks together) to coding during one of their mentoring sessions by turning him onto sites like Code.org and Scratch, where he could learn programming and coding by creating his own video games. He talked about how important coding and programming are and will continue to be as we move into an increasingly technological future, and how there just aren’t enough people moving into this field. Naturally, my curiosity was piqued, and I signed up to get e-mails from Code.org. By the way? Coding is FUN. I’m not math genius by a long shot, but I can get onto that site and make the little dog chase that ball all around the screen now, and I giggle like a preschooler every time.
Which brings me to the Hour of Code, a movement by Code.org to recruit 10 million students of all ages to try computer science for one hour. This will be the largest initiative of its kind, ever.
From the Code.org e-mail: Backed by Microsoft, Google, Apple, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, the Boys & Girls Clubs, and over 100 other partners, we want to bring computer science to every child, in every school, during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 9-15).
Welcome to the 21st Century
Computer science is foundational for all students today. Yet 90% of schools don’t teach it. Fewer kids learn to program than 10 years ago.
What’s an Hour of Code?
It’s an introduction to computer science designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn the basics. We’ll provide hour-long tutorials featuring Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Angry Birds, and Plants vs. Zombies — for your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
How can you help?
1) Ask your local school to participate – share this handout and video with your teacher.
2) Participate yourself (or with your child). Set aside one hour to learn, during Dec. 9-15.
3) Ask your employer to schedule a 1-hour team-building event to learn together.
4) Get together a local group in your community. Or host an Hour of Code “block party.”
No experience needed
We owe it to today’s students to start with one hour. Let’s make history.
Please get started now at http://hourofcode.com
– Hadi Partovi, founder, Code.org
I’m going to leave this handout in my son’s computer teacher’s mailbox on Monday morning, and I’m going to ask the library where I volunteer if they would let me leave these handouts out for the kids to see when they come in after school. Regardless of who signs on and who doesn’t, though, Alex and I will be spending an hour of coding in December. I can’t wait.