Computer Science Education Week a.k.a. the Hour of Code kicked off today! Last year 15 million students participated in the Hour of Code, and this year the goal is to get 100 million students worldwide to do an Hour of Code by the end of 2014! Here’s a little intro video from Code.org if you’re unfamiliar with what The Hour of Code is all about.
I fully support their philosophy that every 21st-century student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. If you’ve never tried coding before, Code.org is a great place to start. It offers a variety of self-guided tutorials from kindergarten up featuring Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, and even Frozen! Here are a couple of my cuties working on an Angry Birds maze sequence.
There’s no prep work required of the teacher, except maybe showing one of these videos to get your students motivated. I personally love the inspirational message from President Barack Obama.
After learning the basics from Code.org, I let my students experiment with the free app Scratch Jr. today. They had a blast programming their characters to move, jump, dance, and even talk. If you’re lucky enough to have iPads, I’d definitely recommend this app for little ones!