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Millions participate in the Hour of Code

How is your school district celebrating the Hour of Code?

kid-codeLast month, eSN gave readers a preview of Computer Science Education Week’s major initiative, the Hour of Code, which asks students, teachers, parents, and schools to learn just one hour of computer programming during Computer Science Education Week.

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.

At press time, more than 5.7 million people learned an hour of code, and more than 163 million lines of code were written by students.

Will you be participating in the Hour of Code? Share your comments with me at @eSN_Laura and @eschoolnews.

(Next page: The Hour of Code in practice)

Janice Mak, who teaches third and fourth grade in Arizona’s Paradise Valley Unified School District, piloted‘s Hour of Code tutorials with her students when they were released in beta, and is participating in the Hour of Code and coding activities during Computer Science Education Week.

“They were great, because they were very structured, and the kids were able to apply a lot of computational thinking to the different scenarios,” Mak said. “They were engaging, basic enough for a beginner to do, with enough engaging aspects for kids to move up quickly.”

The entire Paradise Valley district is participating in Computer Science Education Week, and district leaders sent information to teachers offering to help them incorporate coding and other computer programming activities into their lessons this week.

The district also has its own coding initiative, Coding is Common to the Core, which aims to find way to integrate computational thinking into the Common Core State Standards.’s activities and other coding activities “really get the kids into that problem-solving mindset,” Mak said. “Their minds are always engaged and they’re always asking questions.” created the 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.

Will you be participating in the Hour of Code? Share your comments with me at @eSN_Laura and @eschoolnews.

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