Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Hour of Code

If you ask a teacher about what their role is in a child's education, they will more than likely mention the importance of preparing students for the future. The fact is that computer science is exploding with the vast amount of people accessing the Internet through computers, tablets, smartphones, and even a pair of glasses. Computer science is centered around the idea that computers have to be told what to do. (As a side-note, I had to know a little bit of coding in order to make some changes to this blog post.) So to prepare students for the future, we at Rome City and Wayne Center Elementary schools will be participating in the hour of code from December 8-12.

As the technology coach for my students and staff, I've already organized and prepared materials for you to make the hour of code a smooth and successful experience with very little preparation on your part. Please keep in mind that the name "Hour of Code" is a little deceiving. (I can hear my kindergarten teachers saying right at this moment that there is no way that their Kindergarten students can do any of these activities for an hour.) The hour of code can be spread out through the week.

Here's a way you can launch it:

1. Show this promotional video to get students to better understand what computer science/coding means:

2. Discuss with students where coding exists: the Internet, video games, computer programs, cars, phones, tablets, apps, microwaves, etc. Ask students if they would be interested in learning how to make electronic devices work. 

3. Show students a tutorial on Kodable, Lightbot, or Scratch

Kodable: Grades PreK-1 (East Noble teachers, this app is installed on your class set of iPads.)

Lightbot: Grades 2-4 (East Noble teachers, this app is installed on your iPads.)

Scratch: Grades 5-6 (East Noble Teachers should send the link to the students as the link goes to a special Hour of Code site with directions.) 

4. Give students time to try it out. If you do not have enough time to try it extensively, give them 5-10 minutes a day during the week. 

5. Take some pictures of your students participating in the Hour of Code and send them my way. I'd love to promote your classroom and computer science!