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