The Hour of Code is a 60-minute set of tutorials that attempts to teach people the basics of computer programming incorporating one taught by Mark Zuckerberg and another where you write lines of code. There are lots of people intending to teach both boys and girls to code in a fun and simple way.
Hour of Code is a non-profitable campaign launched in the US to introduce coding into the US curriculum and raise awareness about what coding entails. The idea is to show that anyone can become a computer programmer as long as there is a strong will to learn.
The goal of an hour of code however is not to train anyone to become a professional computer scientist in one hour because 60 minutes can only be sufficient to understand the fun and creative part of computer science which can be accessible to all age groups.
In case you still have unanswered questions, this article will provide every detail you need to know about the hour of code, how it started, how to participate in it, the limitations available and so much more.
Origin of Hour of Code
The Hour of Code emerged in December 2013 during the Computer Science Education Week. It started as a 60-minute introduction to computer science, designed to explain “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to expand people’s participation in the field of computer science. The program was greatly supported by many influential figures including Bill Gates and Obama and in the end, over 20 million people participated.
Since then, it has evolved into a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, beginning with an hour of coding activity but increasing to all kinds of community efforts. The Hour of Code is now taught in classrooms across the world and also takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week.
The success of these events is not measured by how much students learn even though it is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide. The success is revealed in the large participation of people across gender, ethical, and socioeconomic groups, resulting in the increase in enrollment of people at all grade levels.
Today, millions of teachers and students who participated in the hour of code have decided to go beyond the time limit and enroll in a whole course (or even a college major). Tens of thousands of teachers have also decided to pursue computer science either by attending PD, offering follow-on online courses, or both.
Recently, over 100 million students have participated, and girls, in particular, are being given greater opportunities to learn to program than ever before. Every student should have the opportunity to learn coding to help build their problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity.
How do I participate in the Hour of Code?
There are two major ways to participate in the hour of code. The first is by organizing an Hour of Code event in your community while the second is by trying it yourself.
Hour of Code activities often are self-guided and you barely just have to pick the tutorial you want and pick your preferred hour. Because there are several options for every age and experience level, it is best advised that you plan properly.
For anyone who wants to participate in the hour of code, there are a few things you may need to do. This includes;
#1. Have work partners
Study shows students understand better when they work with their fellow students either by sharing a computer or just working together. This is because students often encourage each other to put in the extra effort.
#2. Use a projected screen
If you have a projector and screen connected to your computer, you could watch the Hour of Code together with your group. Divide the videos into batches and take time to watch them. Ensure you solve puzzles and answer questions while at it.
How do I keep learning after the Hour of Code?
There is no time limit to which an hour of code exists therefore, anyone can host an Hour of Code at any time all year-round. The goal is not necessarily to address the issue of how to teach code, or how to apply coding in a curriculum – none of that. The Hour of Code is simply telling you to dedicate one hour to learning how to code. Not because there is any major reason but so you can be able to discover on a personal level that coding is not super-complicated.
The Hour of Code is not limited to just one hour of coding. So many other events that take place during Computer Science Education Week go beyond 60-minutes and involve activities other than coding, but they are all under the same umbrella celebration for Hour of Code.
Impact of the Hour of Code on Students
In early 2017 research was conducted to measure the student impact of an Hour of Code. Students were surveyed based on their attitudes and confidence in computer science before and after they did an Hour of Code. It was discovered that:
- More students enjoyed computer science after the hour of code than before
- More students developed the confidence to learn computer science after the hour of code
- More students revealed that they felt better at computer science than their friends
These findings were particularly true for female students, which is important, given Code.org’s mission to broaden participation in computer science among girls and underrepresented minorities.
Hour of Code is more often self-directed so it can easily be organized and planned either as an extracurricular activity or a community event. The goal is to provide a fun way for people to learn coding and programming which can go a long way to building a potential career.
These two activities- programming and coding are a great way to improve your thinking skills. Coding requires discipline, attention to detail, patience, problem-solving skills, and many other skills.
You can also find other details about coding, programming, and hour of code here.