Last December, non-profits Code.org and Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) launched the Hour of Code initiative to get people, particularly kids, interested in computer science and programming. Whether you and your kids missed out on the opportunity last year or are looking to join in on the fun again, I’m here to tell you that the Hour of Code is back this year, December 8-14, with even more options than ever to inspire your interest in programming.
GeekMom Ariane motivated you to participate in last year’s Hour of Code with graphics on why computer programming skills are so important. Educators and entertainers also spread the word. Apparently a lot of people listened to the media coverage, and last year’s Hour of Code boasted some impressive statistics including:
- Reached 15 million users in less than 5 days.
- 15 million students in 170 countries learned an Hour of Code.
- Over 10 million girls participated.
I expect this year’s Hour of Code to be just as impressive, and dozens of organizations are participating:
As I reviewed the list of sites, I recognized quite a few but was also excited to see some new ones in the list. What a wide variety of choices for kids, and adults, to choose from! I found online offerings as well as offline ones. Some offerings you can run from your web browser, and others that can be used on your phone or tablet. Whatever platform you’re on, I think there’s an educational programming option to fit your needs.
Another offering that really caught my attention is Frozen from Code Studio. With this tutorial, programmers will learn how to create snowflakes with the Frozen characters Anna and Elsa. The tutorial is currently in beta, but I went through all 20 puzzles without any issues. I found it easy to learn some programming basics while having fun creating snowflakes—and just in time for the winter holiday season too! If you have a daughter that needs a little extra motivation to try out programming, this might be just the tutorial for her!
I was also pleased to see some video game design style tutorials. My son, Joey, age 12, often thinks he wants to be a video game designer when he grows up. He and a million other kids, right? Nevertheless, I think piquing his interest in programming with a tutorial geared towards video games will be quite effective. I went through the 10 step tutorial on the Code Avengers site and successfully created my very first video game! I can’t wait for Joey to give it a try!
I hope you and your kids will participate in this year’s Hour of Code. Don’t be shy, even if you don’t have a background in programming, you can set a good example for your child by giving something new a try!