Hour of Code Aims to Reach 100 Million Worldwide
Hour of Code Aims to Reach 100 Million Worldwide
Written by Sue Gee   
Thursday, 09 October 2014

After its successful debut last year, in which the inaugural Hour of Code reached well over its initial target of 10 Million students, Code.org has embarked on a crowdfunding campaign to raise $5 million in order to introduce coding to 100 Million this December.

The message on which Code.org is basing its campaign on Indigogo is "Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science". This is contrasted with the stark fact that 9 out of 10 schools don't teach this topic. 

 

9outof10

 

Code.org aims to bring about change on a worldwide basis and is looking for funds to help to bring the courses it has already developed with the help of its partners  to more classrooms. In particular it wants to provide in-person training for teachers to allow them to add computer science to the curriculum.

Fundraising is underway on IndeGoGo and is continuing until December 14th. The target for donations  in pledges that start at just $10 is $2.5 million, since every dollar raised will be matched dollar for dollar by its largest donors.

 

 

Code.org doesn't just want your money. It wants people to support its cause and promote the inclusion of computer science within the educational curriculum.

The latest email from Hadi Partovi, co-founder of Code.org who is spokesperson for the campaign with the subject line Calling all engineers. Worldwide presents his mission to the group best placed to make the initiative a success - software developers, saying: 

Computer science is foundational for all students. Yet most schools don’t teach it, and most students never get a chance to try it. We owe it to our children to give them one hour.

He explains:

Last year, 40,000 teachers led a grassroots effort called the Hour of Code – to introduce ten million students to one hour of computer science. Kids of all ages tried one hour of writing code and making apps in classrooms, and they loved it.

This year, supported by over 100 organizations, we want to reach 100 million students, across every country in the world, during Computer Science Education Week (Dec 8 – 14).

Given the razamataz that surrounded last year's Hour of Code, the new video for this year is actually more convincing. Instead of evangelism by pop and baseball stars it mainly presents the views of kids and their teachers and yes their enthusiasm for encountering code in the classroom shines through. We still have Barak Obama and Satya Nadella making an appearance to lend their support, and perhaps more importantly a school district superintendent endorses the initiative.


Events for this year Computer Science Education Week are already being organized around the globe as can be seen from the state of this interactive map:

eventsmap

 

The Hour of Code has to be viewed as a foot-in-the-door strategy. But once you get students on-board going from one hour to a regular slot in the school timetable is a natural progression and for this many more trained teachers are required.

Code-org launched its K-5 curriculum earlier this year and in lots of parts of the world Code.org is preaching to the converted. In the UK, for example, Computer Science is now part of the official school curriculum from age 5. So the time is right for a concerted effort to put being able to program on a par with reading, writing and arithmetic. 

 

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