|Hour Of Code Adds Lessons In Unconscious Bias|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
|Friday, 20 November 2020|
Microsoft has announced details a new Hour of Code lesson. In "A Minecraft Tale of Two Villages!" the task will be to bring two villages together with the power of code, learning and practicing inclusion and empathy along the way.
The announcement says that:
"As they go through the activities, coders will experience compassion for their neighbors, learn about cooperation and equity, and embrace the diversity that makes us all uniquely special."
Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, aiming to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science.
Since this very sensible beginning it has grown and expanded to all sorts of community efforts. The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. which this year runs from December 7–13. Over 100 million students across 180 countries and 40 languages have participated in the Hour of Code, including one in three students in U.S. schools.
The new Hour of Code activity (and last year’s lesson) are available for free in Minecraft: Education Edition, meaning the courses can be downloaded and run without needing an official Minecraft license.
In terms of the programming, the interesting thing is that this is the first year when students can choose their own coding language for Hour of Code. Learners will be able to complete activities using block-based coding with MakeCode or text-based coding with Python. MakeCode is intended for more junior students.
Along with the Hour of Code, there are also over 150 hours of Computer Science lessons—most new this fall—and a new Equity and Inclusion category of lessons in the in-game library. The organizers say that anyone planning a Computer Science curriculum can also work through the new, free Coding Academy Learning Path on the Microsoft Educator Center.
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