Monday, December 8, 2014

Hey everyone, it's that time of year again...Computer Science Education Week (CSEW) where the organization Code.org is trying to get tens of millions of students to to try an Hour of Code during the week of December 8-14...oh yeah, and its the holiday season, too, I suppose.  I'm sure that some of you are saying "But Erik, I'm not a computer teacher, why should I be interested in CSEW?" and one of the best answers that I can come up with is creativity.

More and more things that students are interacting with on a daily basis were created using coding, from the apps on their phones and tablets, to the newest and fastest operating systems, the creation of all of these things rely on people knowing how to code. "Ok, so I get why it's important" you say "but you still didn't answer the question of 'How will it help me?'".  If we can give students the skills to think more creatively, they will start to bring those skills to our classrooms; we'll start to see children thinking outside the box, making more connections, looking for creative solutions to the problems that we present to them.  This can be summed up by Doug Belshaw, in his article This is Why Kids Need to Learn to Code when he states

"Coding is the ability to read and write a machine language as well as to think computationally. Learning to code can lead to outputs valuable in and of themselves, but the process of learning to code also develops problem-solving skills, (digital) confidence, and helps young people understand the world around them. In many respects, we should encourage kids to code for similar reasons to those we give for encouraging them to play sports and learn an instrument: it's good for their development."
If you're interested in taking part in this year's code week, check out code.org's Hosting an Hour of Code web page and watch one of the videos below, oh yeah, try your hand at writing a line of code, you might just have fun!




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