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This Mini Documentary Perfectly Encapsulates Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Programming

Grace Hopper was a pioneer, and an inspiration to female computer scientists everywhere.

A new documentary about legendary computer scientist and Navy admiral Grace Hopper is shedding light on the key roles women had in originating computers as we know them today.

Image via Creative Commons

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What Does the 'Hour of Code' Really Look Like at a K-12 School?

So, what exactly do teachers do during the 'Hour of Code?' The first school in the U.S. to make coding part of the core curriculum reveals all.


"Anybody can learn to code." That’s the mantra of Code.org, and it became our school's mantra as well during the Hour of Code.

I'm a global history teacher and technology integration specialist at Beaver Country Day School, an independent school for grades 6-12 located just outside of Boston. On Monday morning we held a schoolwide "Hour of Code" as a part of Computer Science Education Week. Teachers throughout the school led students through a variety of tutorials and activities that connected their specific course content to coding. Simultaneously, teachers throughout the United States and beyond worked in a similar fashion to highlight not only the significance of coding in today's world but the practicality (and necessity) of it. As of today than 12.4 million participants have participated in an Hour of Code from December 9-15, exceeding the goal of introducing 10 million students to one hour of computer science.

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If a 90-Year-Old Can Learn to Code, What's Your Excuse?

The Hour of Code has a lofty goal: to get 10 million students to code for an hour this week.


The data says there will be 1.4 million jobs in computer science in the year 2020 but we only have 400,000 students enrolled in computer science classes. That's why on Monday every student at Los Angeles' Foshay Tech Academy—and a large percentage of all students at Foshay, a K-12 school in the Los Angeles Unified School District—completed the Hour of Code.

If you are unfamiliar with the Hour of Code check out the two-minute video below and notice that even Google (!) dedicated its doodle on Monday to the Hour of Code:

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At P-TECH, Educators and Employers Work Together to Solve the Skills Gap

Want to close the skills gap? P-TECH's model could be the answer.

This story is the fourth in a six part editorial series exploring the balance between student learning and job skills. We’re asking leaders and thinkers in education and technology fields: Can America educate its way out of the skills gap? This series is brought to you by GOOD, with support from Apollo Group. Learn more about our efforts to bridge the skills gap at Coding for GOOD.

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It's pretty obvious that if we want to set students up to be creators of technology, not just passive consumers, they have to learn to code. But while there are individual teachers helping kids learn the nuts and bolts of programming, most American students know zilch about computer science. So how can a high school student win a computer science contest if they've never even heard the phrase "open source"? Look no further than Google's third annual Code-In, a global contest for 13 to 17-year-olds interested in learning more about computer science and open source software development.

The contest lets students learn while completing bite-sized tasks and projects from five categories: coding, documentation/training, quality assurance, research/outreach, and user interface. Students earn points and prizes for each task completed—one completed task gets them a certificate and three tasks earns them a sweet Code-In t-shirt. Of course, if you're a newbie to open source, you might need some help, so 10 open source organizations—places like Sugarlabs and the Fedora Project—will provide online mentoring.

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Khan Academy Wants to Teach You Coding

Now you really have no excuse for not learning how to code.


Can the world's most popular virtual classroom, the Khan Academy, bring the same magic to learning computer science that they've brought to brushing up on math and science concepts? With the launch of the new Khan Academy Computer Science project, founder Sal Khan and his team are certainly giving it a shot.

The head of the initiative, John Resig, wrote on his blog that the platform is designed for "people with no programming knowledge" and they intend to give coding newbies "an engaging and fun environment to learn in." Because coding is such an interactive process, the tutorials on the platform facilitate an organic process of exploration and figuring out how things work. Resig says that instead of "explicitly teaching how a computer works or fundamental programming concepts" the lessons "emphasize creativity and exploration."

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