Tutorials for use in delivering the Hour of Code during CSEdWeek (December 9-15) are now available in preview. Schools across the US are urged to register before November 15th in order to win laptops or a video chat with Bill Gates.
Computer Science Education Week was inaugurated in 2010 as an annual event addressing the need to build strong computer science education programs in schools across the United States to try to ensure the future availability of a technologically skilled workforce. Its timing is to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of computer science pioneer Grace Hopper on December 9th, 1906.
This year Code.org, the recent startup that shares the same concerns and wants to promote the idea that:
"Every student in school should have the opportunity to learn to code"
is planning that during CSEdWeek 2104 every school student across the United States should be offered an Hour Of Code - an introductory tutorial to "demystify computer science" that can be completed online or even offline.
So far there has been an impressive response, not only in the US but also across the world. With four weeks to go:
10,831 organizers plan to host Hour of Code for 1,743,435 students, across 144 countries. Of these, 5,757 are teachers in schools, and 2,995 are organizing for their entire school to participate.
According to Code.org latest email about the Hour of Code:
It’s now on track to be the largest online education event in history, proving that the demand for relevant 21st century computer science education knows no boundaries.
No doubt some of the early enthusiasm was motivated by the prizes available for participation, including the offer of 10GB of free storage from Dropbox for the first 100,000 educators who planned to host an Hour of Code for their classroom or club.
There are still prizes to be won that are open only to schools in the United States in which the entire school registers for the Hour of Code by November 15th:
- 51 schools who organize an Hour of Code will win a full class-set of computers – one winner in every state, plus Washington D.C .
- 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 and Susan Wojcicki.
Code.org's email also suggests that the odds of winning laptops are "still exceptionally high in many states".
The email also alerts would-be organizers to the availability of the materials needed to deliver an hour of code. In particular Code.org's own tutorial in which kids can learn basic sequencing, repeat loops, and if-then statements from Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Angry Birds can now be previewed as "work in progress.
It is good to see that this initiative is gaining momentum. So if your school isn't in the list, act now!