Submitted by Jennifer Miller, Demonstration Coach, Rockdale Academy
Did you know that one of the fastest growing career fields in the United States is in computer programming? Did you know that 96 percent of high schools do not teach this skill?
Last week, Rockdale Academy's 5th graders participated in the Hour of Code, a global initiative designed to teach computer sciences to all students around the world. It involves a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.
To prepare for this, I attended an all-day training workshop in November. Prior to this class, I had no idea how to code! During the workshop, I learned the steps involved in basic computer programming, and was able to enroll my entire class in an introductory course.
We logged in with high expectations. I was a bit nervous, since most of my students had never even heard of computer coding. As a class, we watched a great introductory video, which was presented by famous actors, musicians, athletes and President Barack Obama.
Then, we watched a quick tutorial featuring Elsa and Anna from Frozen. The students were hooked immediately. The directions were simple and easy to follow. The students were engaged the entire time, and together, they wrote over 800 lines of code. Several students completed the entire Introductory Course for Computer Science. When they continue the program, they will learn how to create an app and a computer game. What a wonderful way to keep my students excited and engaged.
Although the Hour of Code takes place during Computer Science Education Week, December 8-12, anyone can host a class at any time. There are levels of programs for students of all agaes and abilities, and they are simple to understand.
For more information or to access tutorials, visit hourofcode.com/us.