hour of code

Um…so what do teachers do now after the Hour of Code?

To help teachers new to coding, experts give ideas that don’t rely heavily on technology to continue computer science education throughout the year.

Yearly one-day events meant to promote critical subject areas not taught within traditional curriculum, like computer science and coding, are great for awareness. But outside of these specific days, how can teachers continue seamlessly integration of the concepts learned? What resources are available outside of those provided by the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek)? And are these resources good for teachers not well-versed in coding?

These are the main questions experts answered during edWeb.net’s celebration of CSEdWeek (December 5-11), an annual initiative that aims to inspire K-12 students to take interest in computer science. During this annual program, schools around the world host their own Hour of CodeTM. Organized by Code.org, Hour of Code is a one-hour basic introduction designed to celebrate and expand participation in computer science.

This year, two of edWeb.net’s professional learning communities (PLC) presented webinars that highlighted not only the importance of coding and computer science in education, but what educators can do after this special week to continue teaching computer science and coding in their classroom.

Beyond the Hour of Code: Implementation for All

Because coding helps students develop the 4 Cs of 21st century learning (communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking/problem solving), helps them with learning to learn (or recognizing that they can learn on their own) and helps develop a mentality of a 21st century world, experts recommend teaching coding throughout the year, and not just one day or week per year.

The Coding & Robotics K-8 PLC, sponsored by Wonder Workshop, hosted the webinar, “Beyond the Hour of Code: Implementation for All,” on December 6th. Bryan Miller, educator community manager at Wonder Workshop, and Kiki Prottsman, curriculum development manager at Code.org®, presented on how to continue coding in the classroom after holding an Hour of Code.

Throughout the webinar, they addressed issues often encountered by schools including:

  • why coding should be taught in schools and what students learn through coding
  • struggles teachers face after completing an Hour of Code
  • how to fit coding into a typical school day
  • resources and funding available for schools to continue to teach coding

“In the year 2020 we’ll have 1.4 million jobs that will be available in the area of coding and computer science…yet only .4 million students are actually being prepared for that,” said Miller, stating a statistic from Code.org. Thankfully, said Miller, it is now easier than ever to integrate coding into the classroom with curricula like those on Code.org, and learning tools like Wonder Workshop’s robots Dot and Dash.

(Next page: First steps and resources for after the Hour of Code)

Meris Stansbury

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