One education trend sweeping across the country and worldwide is coding. In today’s high-tech society, coding is quickly becoming a fundamental tool, but far too few kids around the world have the chance to learn how. That’s starting to change. From December 3-9, the largest learning event in history occured during Computer Science Education week. The Hour of Code is a global movement that offers hundreds of one-hour activities in 48 different languages from kindergarten up.
Still in its’ infancy (4 years), the Hour of Code was launched by Code.org. The event has introduced tens of millions of students to computer science and coding classes and teaches those how to develop their own websites, apps and computer software. The program has made huge strides in reaching a mass worldwide audience.
Everyone is getting in on learning how to code – from educators and tech pioneers, to celebrities and even leaders like former President Obama. Business magnate, Richard Branson, agrees. “Whether we’re fighting climate change or going to space, everything is moved forward by computers, and we don’t have enough people who can code. Teaching young people to code early on can help build skills and confidence and energize the classroom with learning-by-doing opportunities. I learned how to fly a hot air balloon when I was 30,000 feet up and my life was in the balance: you can learn skills at any age but why wait when we can teach everyone to code now!”
The importance of coding includes driving innovation, building confidence and allowing students to be creative while learning. The Hour of Code was created to show that anybody can learn the basics of computer software and to broaden those to participate in computer science.
Not only does the movement enrich students in STEM disciplines, it also breaks down stereotypes, closes the diversity gap, and is empowering the next generation. Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai wants young women to join the movement as well, “I challenge girls in every single country to learn on Hour of Code.” Participation of female students in computer science is only 20-25% of high school courses, university courses, and the workforce. But during the Hour of Code, female students make up 50%!
The grassroots campaign is supported by over 300 partners including Microsoft, The College Board, Khan Academy, Amazon, Teach For America and many more. Whether you’re an educator, company, or a parent you can start the hour of code now. The activities require no experience and they can be run on browsers, tablets, and smartphones. There are over 200 tutorials available. Kids can code their own dance party to Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen or Keith Urban. Or code a journey with Minecraft and build and explore worlds. Maybe join an adventure with coding to travel with Anna and Elsa through Disney’s Frozen. There are over 100 computer science activities for all ages and experience.
And you don’t have to stop at an hour. Learn and explore the many different places that coding can take you and your students. Join their vision where every student, in every school, has the opportunity to learn computer science. It’s never too late to learn. You can join the movement by clicking HERE.