‘Hour of Code’ promotes computer science

Hour of Code — an intro to computer programming — is part of Code.org‘s campaign to make computer science a standard course.  Celebrities from President Obama to Ashton Kutcher have signed on.

Coding isn’t too hard for third graders in Charlotte, reports Anya Kamenetz on Hechinger’s Digital/Edu blog. Melissa Loftis teaches many immigrant and refugee students with weak English skills. They’re enthusiastic about writing their own programs, Loftis says.

“They’ve been in our country some of them a month–that’s amazing. It’s been eye opening for us as teachers, that they can build their reading, listening, speaking, and math skills and technology all at the same time. Seeing them engaged with more than just the social media aspect of technology–the math and the code and really thinking how to create and manipulate–it’s exciting.”

Loftis and her school’s technology teacher won a $10,000 grant by pledging to have every kid participate in the Hour of Code. They’ve used the money to order 30 low-cost Chromebooks.

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  1. This is another ‘wow’ idea, which in most cases will get kids interested, but they understood the long term facts of writing software, it’s nowhere near this fun, or glamour filled.

    When they get their first job with a company, they’ll typically work on a piece of software which someone else (or countless someones) worked on before they got there.

    In many cases, they may find that the computing power they have at home exceeds what they have access to at work, etc.

    While it’s a good idea, i’d MUCH rather schools focus on producing graduates who know how to read, write, and add/subtract/multiply/divide and understand schedules, time management, attitude, etc.

    You can teach technical stuff to students who have the above knowledge, you can’t teach it to those who don’t.