Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Thursday, October 23, 2014

EduWin from Pamela Rissman and Christy Mills - Hour of Code is Coming

EduWin from Pamela Rissman, Elise Plutt and Christy Mills

Over the past week, I've gotten a few e-mails from teachers who are planning ahead for the Hour of Code.  The Hour of Code began last year as a way to raise interest and awareness of coding in schools. 

Pamela Rissman, from Dartmouth, was one of the teachers contacting me. She wrote, "As we lead up to December 8 -14, you might want to promote Hour of Code.  Last year, at Dartmouth, we had all math teachers doing this during one period during that week. Here's the website that teachers want to review to determine the best level for their students."

One of Elise Plutt's parents, advocated for the Hour of Code. In an e-mail, he wrote, "I spent 100's of hours coding as a young teen back in the 80's and it's been an invaluable foundation throughout my life. "

Christy Mills' 5th grade students participated in the Hour of Code last year. Watch a short video on what happened when Christy introduced the Hour of Code to her students last year.

Last year, my third grade students participated in the Hour of Code. We started out on the Hour of Code website. I had looked at the first three lessons, but some students were beyond that before the end of our 30 minutes computer lab session. Students who moved ahead quickly were happy to share what they were learning with the other students in the class, while I helped those students who were having challenges. Some students went home and worked through the ten lessons. At the end, they can print a certificate of achievement. The parent of one of my students encouraged her son's interest in coding and Santa brought that student a programmable toy for Christmas. Before the school year was up, Andrew had the toy traveling around the house, with notes requesting a drink sent to the kitchen, and the toy returning the drink to him.

Whether your students are middle schoolers or Kindergartners, whether you have Macs, Chromebooks, thin clients, or iPads, your students can participate in the Hour of Code. Aside from the Hour of Code website and apps, there are a number of coding websites and apps . Primary students might start with the Daisy the Dino app, available for iPads and Android devices. For older students, Tynker and Hopscotch also use building blocks to program commands for students. 

While some coding apps and sites have a license cost, most offer Hour of Code activities for free.

Here is a list of fifty coding tools you can use or pass onto parents to teach kids to code.

As Andrew said in his e-mail, "Here is a great opportunity to get students introduced to coding. No experience necessary." But, if you'd like help getting started, or planning to get started, please let us know.

Thanks to Pamela, Elise, and Christy for sharing enthusiasm for the Hour of Code. If you or one of your colleagues are doing something in your class that uses edtech tools, please let me know. I'd love to share it with other teachers.