Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hour Of Code: You May not be Steve Wozniak, but you can sure try!

As many of you may have heard, this week is the Hour of Code! And by hour, I mean however long you want! And by this week, I mean whenever!

Hour of Code is a grassroots campaign designed to give teachers the tools to give students the tools to make computer coding possible. In a world where robots are on the rise, computers are on a crescendo and automation is (fancy adjective or verb that also means 'rise' to fit the alliteration) advancing, learning how to tell those machines how to do those things is where coding comes in. The best thing we can do as teachers is have our students learn a thing or two about coding. The Hour of Code movement is organized by Code.org and is held during Computer Science Education Week.

In related news, this week is Computer Science Education Week!

And Hour of Code is looking to do just that: with free lessons and tutorials for students and teachers, this movement is strong: according to their website, there are over 191,000 events being held around the world, which is great! Some more fast facts from their website:

And if our students do nothing with coding, great! One of my favorite teaching moments, and one of the reasons why I decided to be a teacher, happened in a high school biology class where my biology teacher was asked why anyone would ever have to know this 'stuff'. He swiftly responded to this student by asking, "Why do you do pushups? Tonight at wrestling practice when you do 250 extra pushups, what are you doing?" Sidenote: He always had some SICK burns and comebacks up his sleeve, ready for any moment. "I dunno," the confused wrestler said as the classed laughed in jest. "You are pushing yourself off the world. What does that accomplish? Other than gaining ab strength, forcing your core to hold up your entire body and pushing your entire body to hold yourself off of planet Earth, what is it doing?"

"Biology is like pushups for your brain. You are strengthening the muscles of your brain."

You couldn't hear my mind exploding over the sound of pins dropping, but it was there. In summary, coding and similar exercise, if nothing else, are great ways to strengthen your student's minds as they prepare to take on the world.

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