• Students Think Deeply in Completing an Hour of Code
     
    Students are learning to think deeply as they complete an Hour of Code tutorials on computer programming.
     
    This year's Hour of Code, from the website code.org., features a new Minecraft, Minecraft Designer.
     
     
    An Hour of Code was designed as a national effort to produce an easy-to-understand introduction to computer programming.  When broken down to its core concepts, programming really isn't so intimidating, tech leaders say.  The following entry-level tutorial would allow any age six or older student to get started.  The tutorial features video lessons from Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. 
     
     
    In this tutorial, students programmed the game Angry Birds. Students completed the tutorial on their own, and gradually learned more and more about how to write computer instructions.  The Maze Intro video (which appears at the bottom of the linked page) provides directions for the activity. 
     
     
     

    This series of tutorials, also from last year, allows students ages 5-14 to control a variety of characters in web games.  These tutorials were produced by the website Tynker.com:
     
     
     
    These tutorials stand on their own as teaching tools.  To those with experience in coding, concepts such as command statements, if-then statements, loops, nested loops and conditional loops are introduced in a student's first Hour of Code.  The entry-level language used in the first example is Blockley, a visual language that runs over web-based Javascript.  By clicking on Show Code, students are able to see the Javascript code running underneath Blockley.  Other tutorials allow students to write Javascript commands more directly.  Javascript is the language used by most programmers to write applications for the web.
     
    Maybe you have the bug and want to learn more.  The following 15-25 hour tutorial, posted by code.org, allows students to practice with more programming concepts and write more lines of code.     
     
     
    The formation of Code.org and Computer Science in Education Week have gained broad support in political, technology, sports and entertainment circles.  The effort was even recognized with its own Google Doodle.  Code.org was initiated to allow America's students to experience an Hour of Code as a way of learning to program and to think deeply.