The Hour of Code is an annual celebration of the ever-growing culture of programming and connected learning. The Hour of Code is an invitation to schools and teachers to bring programming into the learning space and see the possibilities. When schools dedicate themselves to the Hour of Code, they are pledging to get each student on a device for at least an hour in one week. This alone is worth the effort.
If your school has not yet done the Hour of Code, here are five tips for having a totally successful hour of code:
Using the tools on Code.org and combining offline, tablet, and desktop activities, your school can get EVERY KID participating in the Hour of Code. Dedicating the school to connecting every kid moves this from a class activity to a community event. School cultures change from the level of community.
Whether it is Fuzz Family Frenzy, or Cup Stacking, or dancing, get students working with code without screens. Students can code amazing things offline, explore the activities ahead of time and shape them to best fit your community.
If your school already uses programming regularly, use this as a chance to share that work with the community. Consider hosting a Family Coding Day to have parents and student programming together. Read more about this idea here.
Every student, teacher, staff, and support person can code and should, at least for an hour. The world of programming is changing all the time and we can't leave anyone out.
Once you get programming into the classroom, don't let it out! Programming can be used instructionally in any subject and grade level to support student learning. You can connect with great teachers using programming to support student learning on the hashtags #csk8 and #kidscancode.
Sam Patterson EdD is an enthusiastic K-5 tech integration specialist, founder of #PATUE education twitter chat, and Teacher Cast Media Group Blogger. He is in his third year teaching programming to K-8 students at Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, and has organized three Hour of Code Community Days with over 300 visitors. Follow him on twitter @SamPatue or read his blog here.