The Hour of Code is upon us: Time to get involved
The Hour of Code is one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code” and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator. The idea is that millions of students in this coming week will spend one hour being introduced to the wonders of coding.
This is all part of Computer Science Education Week in the USA but there are lots of people participating in Australia and around the World. There’s s a list of self-guided tutorials available, but for High School students I’m going to go right ahead and recommend Sydney-based Grok Learning’s wonderful Python tutorials.
- Build a chatbot called “Eliza”: Can she fool your friends into thinking she’s a human not a computer?
- Model a disease outbreak: Can you solve the curious case of the glowing nose?
- Create a simple text-based game: Can you find your way through the dark tunnel?
For Primary School students, or even early High School, you can’t go past Scratch backed up by Scratch cards for an easy starting point.
With the school year winding down, these Hour of Code activities are a great way to engage new students with computer science and let them have a go at programming!
Nicky Ringland points out that Computer Science Education Week is timed in honour of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, who developed the first compiler for a computer programming language, and recommends this short clip of her explaining nanoseconds and satellite communication speed. If you’re a teacher and do nothing else this coming week but point out that Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer, that Grace Hopper was a pioneer developer and that it’s OK for girls to do coding then you’ve achieved something good. And if you have another five minutes to spare show your students this video.