Thursday, November 13, 2014

Join the Hour of Code

On December 8-14, 2014, millions of students will participate in a global learning event called the Hour of Code. This growing movement celebrates, encourages, and supports people of every age and ability to learn programming and other parts of computer science. 

We are living in a time that requires us to speak the language of technology, and yet only ten percent of schools in the United States offer computer science classes, there are fewer computer science graduates today than a decade ago, and women and minorities make up a very small fraction of technology professionals. Yet, the career opportunities in coding professions are vast. The Hour of Code was started as a way to reach more people and start them down a path to becoming technology creators. All it takes is an hour!



What does it look like to participate in the Hour of Code?
There are many ways to participate in the Hour of Code, from self-directed learning to structured events and classroom lessons. Code.org, the organization behind Hour of Code, provides many online tutorials and resources that anyone can use. 

Teachers, librarians, and parents can organize Hour of Code events using the materials on the event website, or they can develop their own materials. There is even a how-to guide to starting an event from scratch. The important thing is to participate!

If you are planning an Hour of Code event, consider registering it on the website—you will be counted among the many worldwide participants, and you will be entered to win some amazing prizes, including $10,000 in technology for your school.

I’m not a technology teacher. Does this apply to me?
Absolutely! Technology is a language that everyone needs to speak. Even if you have no background in computer science, technology, or programming, you can (and should) participate in the Hour of Code. You are modeling an important behavior for your students by showing them that programming is accessible to everyone. Code.org has tutorials for all age levels and abilities, and some require only paper and pencil. 

How can my school participate?
There are a number of events planned at several of our schools. Check out the Hour of Code 2014 BVSD Events document to see what’s happening around the district. (We’ll update this list as we hear from schools.)

To expand the participation we encourage every school to plan Hour of Code events and to promote those events to parents and community members. Code.org has free marketing materials, everything from printable posters to images and videos to share on social media. By promoting your events you are starting a conversation in your community about the importance of computer science education.

One more thing...
Let us know what you are planning and what support you need by by filling out this linked form. We are excited to see this movement grow in BVSD.

And please chime in with your thoughts below.  

Jackie Weber (Director of Mathematics and Computer Science)
Joan Bludorn (Principal & BVSD Director of Career and Technical Education)
Andrew Moore (CIO)

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