December 9-15 is Computer Science Education Week, which is an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. The people behind Code.org are seeking to elevate the profile of computer science education in all students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. One of the ways that they think this could happen is for all teachers, no matter what subject they instruct, to participate in the Hour of Code – allowing their students to try out coding for at least one hour this week. Check out their encouraging video below . . .
So what can you do in that one hour, you ask? Well there are a bunch of great places on the internet that can help guide you through an introduction to computer programming. A great place to begin would be to visit here –
At this page, you’ll find a bunch of options that include tutorials, games, and other learning options. One of the programs they suggest is one that Mr. Weber uses all the time with students at St. George’s: LightBot. In this game, your job as programmer is to preset a path for the ‘bot’ to run along, and to lead it to light up all the blue tiles in the factory.
If you’re ready to move on to some more serious coding, some other excellent places to visit are: Code Monster from Crunchzilla, the online book called Snake Wrangling for Kids, and the sites called CodeAcademy.com and khanacademy.org
Code Monster contains 58 short lessons, taking students from basic actions like resizing objects to complex animation. The code that kids write is displayed next to the outcome of that code, so users get instant feedback on their work.
Snake Wrangling for Kids will take you on a really user-friendly journey to learn the computer programming language called Python, right from the very first step. The more time you put in, the more sophisticated your programming skills will become, and the cooler the things you’ll be able to accomplish.
At Khan Academy, you can use their programming environment to build graphics, animations, and interactive visualizations. If you’ve never programmed before, follow these tutorials to learn how!
So go ahead and try computer science out! It’s fun, useful, and could lead you towards getting a really great job one day!
If any teachers happen to be reading this post, have a look at this teacher tutorial about how to teach Hour of Code in your classroom: