This week marks the first ever Hour of Code – an initiative to try and encourage every student in the USA and all over the world, to spend one hour having a hands-on experience with programming.
As Steve Jobs said – programming teaches critical thinking and logic. Programming is now also used in so many different areas of life – in fact, it is hard to find areas where programming is not used. And programming provides a growing number of jobs.
Yet – only 1 of every 10 students in the US is currently exposed to programming during their school years.
This is what President Obama said this week:
I learned to program while I was in high school. I traveled to another school in our city once a week to a class that taught us COBOL and FORTRAN. At home we owned an Apple, and I taught myself Applesoft Basic.
My own children learned to program while they were in elementary school. If you teach children while they are young, they take to it really easily. In Estonia they are starting to teach students from age 7 as part of their regular school day.
However, in the US and many other countries, programming is not taught in the majority of schools. And many parents feel they don’t have the skills to teach it at home.
The Hour of Code is hoping to change that. This is one of their promo videos:
It is not too late to register if you are a teacher or leaders of a youth organization – Sign up here and you will receive all the info you need.
If you are in Knoxville – all students from K – 12th are invited to join in the Hour of Code which the Knox County 4-H Computers and Technology Project Group are hosting at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church from 7-8pm on Thursday 12 December. All the details can be found on their website or Facebook group.
To further assist students to get to experience the world of programming, I am offering a free online 4 week course called Intro to Programming. This course is designed for 5th-12th graders and will give students a taste of the world of programming.
Students will learn
- elements of game design
- how to make graphics for games
- program logic
- how to create their first simple program
All the tools used are free and work on both iOS and Windows systems.
The free course will run starting on 15th December 2013 or starting 6Jan 2014.
Sign up here.