Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code

Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code

Just like any other language, computer coding functions based on sets of symbols and patterns. Not something that you can learn through conversation, classes, or a semester abroad, coding can be an elusive skill despite its usefulness and wide range of applications within our technology-filled culture. Learning to code can open up a brand new world of creative possibilities for older students, allowing them to develop computer-based programs of all kinds. In addition, studying programming as a language has some great educational benefits – the attention to pattern and detail necessary in order to succeed at programming can support students in learning to recognize patterns and develop skills in “de-bugging” their own work.

As part of this year’s Computer Science Education Week, the Computing in the Core Coalition has compiled coding-based activities for educators of students of all ages…  Compiled in order to promote and offer support for Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code, the activities range from web-based tutorials to screen-free, hands-on communication and team building tasks. All of the activities are either self-teaching or include full lesson plans, and educators can choose from an incredibly wide range of topics.

Early elementary students might explore code by using an iPad app to program their own games or work with a partner to use written computer code in order to operate as human robots.

Upper elementary and middle school students might use a Khan Academy platform to learn the basics of JavaScript or explore binary code by experimenting with real life circuits, while high school students can learn to use coding as a medium for visual arts or to create their own iPhone apps.

Whether students are hesitant to use technology or are constantly begging for screen time, learning about computer coding is valuable. Computers are ever present in our society, and it’s easy to accept the role that they play without ever considering the concepts that make them work. Exploring code can help students to learn about the basic ideas that all computerized systems are based on, and can help them become demystified about the magic that’s inside a phone, tablet, or a laptop.

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