Schools pledge to learn how to code and support computer science education

hour-codeHave you signed up for the Hour of Code? If you haven’t, chances are you know someone who has–more than 11,000 coding and computer science events are planned, involving nearly 1.8 million students in 144 countries.

The Hour of Code is an initiative that asks students, teachers, parents, and schools to introduce students to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), Dec. 9-15, for just one hour. Activities include introductions that teach students coding basics, an intro to JavaScript, “Robot Vocabulary” and unplugged computer science, how to create your own app, and more.

Students are encouraged to sign up for the Hour of Code, and teachers are encouraged to highlight Hour of Code activities in their classrooms.

(Next page: Take our Hour of Code poll)

But the Hour of Code is not limited to students and teachers. Administrators, organizers, and business owners can observe the event by creating team-building activities, after-school events, or other community events.

Code.org created an Hour of Code tutorial with input from Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and Facebook. The tutorial is set up like a game and teaches basic coding principles.

Classrooms that participate can win prizes for their participation:

  • The first 100,000 educators who host an Hour of Code for their classroom or club will receive 10GB of free storage from Dropbox.
  • 50 schools who organize an Hour of Code will win a full class-set of computers – one winner in every state.
  • 50 classrooms will win a group video conference call with a technology titan to kick off their Hour of Code. Participants include: Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Square and Susan Wojcicki, Google.
  • Students who take a follow-up course online will have a chance to win additional prizes, including Skype credits and online gift cards.

Hour of Code supporters include Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hoffman, and Jack Dorsey.

Supporters say that computer science skills provide a pathway to many technology-oriented careers. In fact, studies show that computer science degrees lead to high-paying jobs that help boost the economy.

Computer science, which includes programming and coding, is the highest-paid college degree and jobs in the field are growing at twice the national average, according to Code.org, but fewer than 2.4 percent of college students graduate with computer science degrees.

Teachers or curriculum directors planning to participate in the Hour of Code can use these teacher resources, and those interested can sign up to host an Hour of Code here.

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