Computer Science Education Week Starts
Written by Sue Gee   
Sunday, 08 December 2013

Running December 9 -15, it is expected to reach over 4.5 million students around the world. At the last count, over 34,000 events are planned in 167 countries, far exceeding what has happened in previous years' events. 

 

(click map to find events near you on CSEdWeek.org/events)

 

The difference is due to the Hour of Code initiative from Code.org, the organization set up earlier this year with the aim of ensuring that:

"Every student in school should have the opportunity to learn to code"

Code.org's inaugural video promoting this idea, with the catch title "What Most Schools Don't Teach" went viral and is listed as one of the Top 20 most shared ad videos of 2013. Was this to do with the fact it starred Bill Gates and Mark Zukerberg or was it down to getting Black Eyed Peas founder will.i.am to share his belief that

"Great coders are today's rock stars"

Initially Code.org seemed to be all talk but it swung into action in October when it launched its campaign to provide an Hour of Code throughout schools in the 50 states of the USA during this years Computer Science Education Week and rather than rely on the schools themselves to provide the tuition set about creating online resources.

 

codehourblockly

(click to enlarge)

 

Code.org's own contribution is a set of 20 puzzles designed to  teach the basics of computer science for users aged "6 to106"  with no prior experience.

The activity uses Blockly, the visual programming language created by Google that has blocks you drag and drop to write programs and characters from the popular games Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. Code.org has also promised a new video and that's due to be available on December 9.

While Code.org's materials are the most popular, with over 400 participants signed up there are other beginner level tutorials based on Scratch, MIT APP Inventor and from Lightbot and Tynker. There's a Blockly-based tutorial from Google Education that doesn't require internet access and also three sets of activities to introduce computer science in classrooms with no computer hardware.

 

codeunplugged

 

There are several JavaScript tutorials with Khan Academy's, aimed at Middle schools and Codeacedemy's, for High schools, leading in the popularity stakes. We have already noted the introduction to using Processing and also in "other programming languages" Grok Learning has a taste of Python programming targetted at Middle schools and MakeGamesWithUS sets out to show High School students who already know some programming how to build an iPhone game in an hour.

Microsoft Research has come up with a tutorial called TouchDevelop for creating flying monsters and crazy drawings on smart phones and other touch enabled devices and its Kodu Game Lab has Hour of Code Kodu Touch Primer - but you won't find it on the main Hour of Code site as it consists of five, one hour experiences - one for every day of the week.

According to CSEdWeek.org over 1.3 million people have already learned an hour of code - and that's before the week officially starts!

 

More Information

csedweek.org

Code.org

Hour of Code

Related Articles

Zuckerberg, Gates And More Promoting Computing In Schools

Hour Of Code Aims To Reach 10 Million Students

Get Ready For Hour Of Code

Processing's Hour of Code

App Inventor Version 2 - Easy Android Apps

CSEd Week Starts Today

A Programmer's Guide to Scratch 2

Google Blockly - A Graphical Language with a Difference

 

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Last Updated ( Monday, 09 December 2013 )
 
 

   
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