Hour of code - What is it? A Guide for Parents and Educators

Hour of code - What is it? A Guide for Parents and Educators

The Hour of Code is a one-hour introductory activity or lesson about computer science. It highlights the basics and fundamentals of coding to encourage others to participate in the computer science field. 

Hour of Code is a worldwide celebration for computer science through an hour of coding tasks and activities. It has tons of fun, exciting, and engaging tutorials and performing exercises to inspire people to begin enjoying the coding world.  

Why is it called the “Hour of Code”?

The Hour of Code features creative, fun, and thrilling activities within an hour. It does not aim to make expert computer scientists but entertain and educate people regarding the incredible field of computer science in just 60 minutes. 

You can learn and experience a lot in an hour. It can teach you the principles and foundations of computer science. The Hour of Code can also help you know a few things about coding, robotics, and the wonders of technology that we are living in today. Other than that, you and your child can also familiarise yourselves with the backgrounds of being a computer scientist to prepare them for their future careers.

Some people, particularly teachers, parents, and students, do not limit themselves to an hour of fun coding activities. They still allow a whole day or even a full week to enjoy all the campaign ventures.

When is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is celebrated annually. It consists of seven days or one week to honour computer sciences. Usually, the Hour of Code comes with the Computer Science Education Week every December 7 to December 13. Every year, organisers hold this to acknowledge a computing pioneer, Admiral Grace Murray Hopper’s birthday on December 9, 1906.

However, you can still celebrate the Hour of Code at any time of the year, primarily if you prefer to host and organise this event to your place. 

Who and how did the Hour of Code start?

The Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code Advisory and Review Committees organise the Hour of Code. This brilliant campaign was made through the committees’ collaboration with an unprecedented coalition of partners such as Amazon, Apple, Boys and Girls Club of America, Microsoft, and the College Board. 

Code.org launched the event as it sent invitations to people who want to try and complete tutorials using visual block coding like Blockly. Through influential figures of tech experts, actors, musicians, athletes, politicians and more, the event was spread throughout the world. Personalities who were involved include the late Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Susan Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg, Shakira, Angela Bassett, Ashton Kutcher, Warren Sapp, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, and even former President Obama.

As a result, the event has been supported by many people. It was an estimate of over 20 million individuals across 170 countries who participated at this first Hour of Code event!

Through this excellent concept and strong partnerships, the Hour of Code is built and has been helping individuals take the path of computer science since 2013. 

Who can join the Hour of Code?

Anyone is free to join the Hour of Code. Most importantly, the Hour of Code invites every student to participate in this campaign to learn about computer science. All students, kids up to high school, are welcome to join Hour of Code to prepare themselves for the programming career. 

Besides that, all genders, especially girls, have the right to belong to this event. In fact, a more significant number of girls have participated in computer sciences for the past 70 years. It clearly means how women can indeed be part of STEM and tech fields. Additionally, among all the event participants through the years, about 50% of them are female students. 

Other than the students, teachers, parents, or any adult interested in this field can participate in this week’s code learning activities. 

How far has the Hour of Code event reached?

Hour of Code is a global movement, so it has arrived in more than 180 countries. Its tutorials, lessons, and materials are also available for over 45 languages, making it very accessible to any learner! 

Other than that, as of 2020, Hour of Code has recorded about 70,246 events that registered in their campaign. And all in all, they have served approximately 1,203,817,024 hours for 100 Million students who tried an Hour of Code event worldwide! 

Through all these numbers, it clearly shows that Hour of Code remarkably attained massive support from people. It also implies how many individuals and institutions believe that learners today should pursue computer sciences fields. 

What Happens in an Hour? 

An Hour of Code is a 60-minute lesson and activity for learners to walk through basic tutorials using phones, tablets, computers, or even without any electronics. Within just one hour, students will experience drag and drop based coding languages like Blockly and Scratch. Kids can understand how coding works during these tutorials, helping them get familiar with basic coding principles.

Other than that, an Hour of Code also inspires learners how fun, creative, and exciting computer sciences are. It enables students to join in one of a kind educational learning experiences using well-established materials perfect for one hour. 

Within an hour, teachers and learners will indeed have a blast together as they honour tech fields and computer sciences. Most importantly, they ignite their minds whilst empowering them to both play and learn more.

Who Teaches an Hour of Code? 

Another exciting feature of Hour of Code is that all its lessons and tutorials are self-directed. So, parents, teachers, and school personnel can even arrange an Hour of Code even in their places. They can now bring it to their homes, school halls, and classrooms to conduct an Hour of Code for the kids. 

Moreover, they can receive all the tutorials and activities from the website as available to an Hour of Code event. 

However, parents and teachers can still add other games and challenges for their students to try, reflecting computer sciences. 

What devices do my child or students need for the Hour of Code?

The campaign does not require complete sets of gadgets or computers. Any device and browsers that can enter Code.org tutorials can join. You can see the following tasks, rules, and reminders on the website to begin learning about coding. 

You can help your students set up their smartphones, tablets, or PCs just to participate in the event. They can also work in pairs if the devices are limited. Other than that, you can also use a projected screen to celebrate Hour of Code together as a team. You and your child and students can try solving puzzles or answering questions one by one. 

Besides that, Hour of Code also suggests you conduct unplugged coding activities. It includes different coding lessons and challenges to introduce coding to the learners without any use of electronics. It also brings so much relief to the instructors as they don’t need to worry about providing gadgets to each learner. 

As long as the participants learn and experience computer sciences activities, it still belongs to the Hour of Code event. So, if you choose to do unplugged activities, you can still enjoy the tutorials and lessons with no computer requirements. 

What can my child or student gain from the Hour of Code?

Your child and students will learn the basics of computer science. They can also get ideas about coding and programming, leading them to take this in the future. An hour of coding and robotics activities will never waste their time, for it lets them enjoy fun ventures while gaining knowledge.

Other than these, your child can also charge this event as a vast experience. It will inspire them to become computer scientists or expert programmers that society needs in the near future.

Your child and any participants can also get certificates to print and store to prove how they got training for a week. 

To further promote Hour of Code, here are some of its benefits:

  1. Hour of Code promotes higher-level thinking skills like problem-solving, reasoning, logic, analytical thinking, computational thinking, communication, and collaboration.
  2. Hour of Code tackles real-world problems such as digital literacy, job career demands in computer sciences, and even tech innovations and development. 
  3. Hour of Code improves a child's future earnings as it influences them to pursue the highest paid jobs in the computer sciences field.
  4. Hour of Code encourages learners to try and learn new skills. It inspires them to become lifelong learners to do more inventions, discoveries, and innovations through their creativity.
  5. Hour of Code is accessible anywhere at any time. Parents, teachers, and students can join Hour of Code worldwide.
  6. Hour of Code develops self-learning and independence as they provide self-directed learning materials to be followed by learners.

Learners can enjoy all these benefits if they choose to join the world’s largest computer science event. 

How much can one learn in an hour? 

The Hour of Code is limited in teaching kids to enjoy and to have fun for computer sciences activities. Teaching kids to become expert computer scientists is beyond the scope of Hour of Code. However, it only promotes the thrill of learning coding and programming whilst being creative throughout the event. 

This campaign also encourages participants to continue learning more about STEM, coding, and computer science. They inspire these participants in the benefits and fulfilment of taking computer science careers. So, within a short period, kids receive proper motivation for their future courses and job positions. 

Aside from that, Hour of Code also reminds that all genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status are welcome to learn and participate in tech fields. The event teaches people that they can still take a big part in this computer sciences industry regardless of their background. 

Through an hour in the campaign, people become aware of joining computer sciences for their careers and college courses. 

How to join the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code has its how-to guide material to let you join their campaign. You can clear your schedule from December 7 to 13 to make sure that you can come and experience their great learning affairs. 

However, adults can also organise their Hour of Code at the comfort of their homes,  schools, or community. You can make this an extracurricular activity or after school coding and robotics class. Your version of Hour of Code can also begin during December 7 or all-year-round. 

Even though you do not have enough coding or programming experience, you can still host Hour of Code events. It will surely make your children and students super enthusiastic with its awesome programming activities and challenges. To host this event, just watch the Hour of Code’s tutorials in the schedule you prefer. Please let them know about the age, experience, and grade levels of the participants you expect to join you. You may start planning Hour of Code now. 

Besides that, those from other countries but interested in joining the Hour Code can also participate independently. The Hour of Code is celebrated globally, which made it more interesting!

What can my child or student do after the Hour of Code?

To further enhance your child’s coding and programming skills, you may let them continue this learning experience through a regular extracurricular activity or afterschool program. You can enrol your child in a computer class for kids, robotics class for kids, math tutoring, or even coding school for kids like Skill Samurai.

Skill Samurai is a STEM-accredited school program offering basics to career-ready coding activities. It will help your child boost their knowledge, experience, and skill in coding while they are young. It is open for students ages 7 to 18

Code of Hour inspires people, so Skill Samurai also welcomes this event to their code school for kids. Both Code of Hour and Skill Samurai caters to provide the joy of learning computer sciences to your kids. So, begin your child’s tech careers with kids coding classes in Sydney through Skill Samurai.

Sign up here.

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