Hour of Code

Hour of Code: 5 Tips and Tricks

Hour of Code is approaching! 

Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week (the 2016 Computer Science Education Week is December 5-11). 

It's a week to build and learn with code - anyone can do it. CS Education Week is meant to provide a time for schools, teachers, and communities to set aside a small amount of time dedicated to exposing students of all backgrounds to the world of CS opportunities.

Join the movement and introduce a group of students to their first hour of computer science with these five tips and tricks!

 

1. Offer your students tutorials that fit their interests

It's no secret that students want to build things they love. Since your students have different interests, offer them different tutorials!

 
 

Vidcode has fun new activities for students with diverse interests, ages, and experience levels. These tutorials are created to be self-guided for students, and require minimal prep time for teachers.

  • Code the News teaches students how to create the effects they see on news shows on tv.
  • Bestie Greeting Card lets students create a card or invitation using code and graphics inspired by Girl Scouts.
  • Climate Science and Code works best in a Science classroom, and encourages students to research and record a video about a climate fact, and add effects and graphics using code.
  • Code.org has many more activities, including games and art projects, for your students to find something they love!
Projects created for Hour of Code 2016

Projects created for Hour of Code 2016

All Vidcode tutorials cover basic computer science concepts, such as sequencing, creating and assigning variables, repetition with loops, and conditional logic, and follow the principles:

  • Easy enough for beginners to access
  • Ramps up slowly
  • Spiral design
  • Promotes “deep learning”
  • Promotes positive identity, role models
  • Math should be prominent, but not annoying.

Look through all of this year's Hour of Code activities on Code.org, and filter by grade and subject area to find the perfect tutorials for your students. With all these choices, students can be introduced to computer science in a way that's engaging to them!

 

2. Take advantage of Teacher Resources

 
Conditionals activity for Hour of Code

Conditionals activity for Hour of Code

 

All Vidcode Hour of Code activities can be accessed at www.vidcode.io/hour-of-code. Under each tutorial, you'll find Teacher Resources filled with lesson plans, common core standards, other resources and inspiration.

We've released two new lesson plans for Code the News, our newest Hour of Code.  One introduces students to programming as creative and fun, the second is focused on really understanding conditionals (telling a computer what to do if something happens).

 

3. Unplug!

Not all computer science activities require a computer! This year, Vidcode has two Unplugged Activities for Math and Art classes, that could work in any classroom.

 
 

Looking for more? Select 'No computers or devices' under Classroom technology on Code.org to see more tutorials that introduce computer science to students without putting them in front of a screen.

 

4. See your students' work

To see all your students' work in one place, make an account and add your students to your classroom.

Press 'Create a New Class' and then invite students to join with the URL that gets generated.

From this dashboard, you'll be able to see your students' progress. And if you click on the class name, you can see all their completed Hour of Code projects in one place!

To see more Hour of Code projects and get inspired, visit the Gallery!

 

5. Keep going after Hour of Code

 
 

After the Hour of Code, select some creative, funny, or generally awesome projects and easily share them online, with parents, other educators, and on social media. Make sure to tag us at @vidcode and #HourofCode. We love seeing what students create with Vidcode!

And remember, learning to code doesn't have to end just because Hour of Code is over! Vidcode has a full year of curriculum that makes it easy to keep teaching computer science in your classroom.

Request a quote for your school to keep coding creative projects all year!

 

Good luck running the best Hour of Code ever!

Life After Computer Science Education Week

Computer Science Education Week is officially over. And what an incredible week it was!

We teamed up with Girl Scouts of Greater New York to create the tools for Girl Scout troops and classrooms around the United States (and world!) to run their own CS Tech Jam and Hour of Code events, introducing thousands of students to computer science in the process.

 

Between December 7th and 13th, with the help of communities around the world, some amazing things happened, including

  • Introducing over 3,500 students to Computer Science in 41 countries and 42 states.
  • Providing tools to help organize over 300 in-person Tech Jams.
  • Us receiving 686 requests for Hour of Code patches from Girl Scouts around the country.
  • In NYC alone, 651 Girl Scouts participating in Tech Jams and Hour of Code with Vidcode and GSGNY.

But it's important to remember that all these students getting introduced to computer science and technology during CS Ed Week is so much more than just a list of numbers. All across the country, classrooms participating in Tech Jams have been sending us stories about their experience, and telling us why their events are special.

One school in New York told us, "Many of the girls in this troop of 4th and 5th graders have never coded before or thought about computer science as a future career option. This first exposure will hopefully get them interested in this field - and continue their love of learning about technology!"

Another classroom in Dallas Texas shared with us that, "This event will be special for my students and I because it will be, for many of us, our first time being exposed to coding/programming. As we learn the programs of Adobe CS6 this will be a great compliment to help us take graphic designing to a whole new level." In Northern California, "The Hamlin School is working with the girls and encouraging them to use code to 'build their dreams' at both the middle and lower school." Check out the interactive coding map and read all the stories on the Tech Jam home page.

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One of the most exciting events of the week occurred when over 120 Girl Scouts gathered in the Girl Scouts of Greater New York offices in Lower Manhattan to learn the basics of computer Science. Older Girl Scouts helped girls as young as 5 code video greeting cards and program robots to do simple tasks, like picking up water bottles.

 

Girls of all ages learned and celebrated computer science through creativity and problem solving. There were two rooms, one full of computers for Hour of Code activities, and another for Unplugged Activities. These included girls 'programming' their friends to draw certain images, or do dance moves in a particular order.

 

After spending the day at the CS Tech Jam, Girl Scout Anyia Smith said "When I think of girls, I think of almost anything." Watch the NY1 News video to see the CS Tech Jam in action.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 7.33.17 PM.png

In the spirit of creative coding, all the Hour of Code and Tech Jam participants had a place to share their finished projects and code with each other.

That place is the Hall of Fame, where everyone who chose to make their projects public could publish their final video greeting cards for every other Tech Jam coder to see! All the projects are still live to check out (and to sneak a peek at the code that made them happen). 

 

So, Life After CS Ed Week

Wondering what to do next? Learning to code doesn't have to end when CS Ed Week does! We offer many free projects online, as well as 40+ hours of curriculum and lesson plans, all centered around creating video art with code.

Keep exploring! The CS Ed Week website has an entire section dedicated to learning beyond Hour of Code, with resources that include learning to code by building robots, creating websites, or drawing animals.

Happy coding!

Computer Science Education Week with Girl Scouts of Greater New York and Vidcode

Computer Science Education Week takes place this December 7th to the 13th. It's a week to build and learn with code - anyone can do it. Only 5% of schools nation-wide offer students the opportunity to take a rigorous CS course. CS Education Week is meant to provide a time for schools, teachers, and communities to set aside a small amount of time devoted to exposing students to a greater realm of CS opportunities.

For this year's Computer Science Education Week we've built a special Tech Jam and Hour of Code in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Greater New York

Our partnership is centered around a shared commitment to give teen girls leadership and STEM opportunities.

 

 

Take part in Computer Science Education Week by giving your students access to Hour of Code, or go beyond Hour of Code by running a Tech Jam with your community, Girl Scout troop, or classroom. There's no previous experience required, you can run an Hour of Code activity, or an entire Tech Jam, even if you've never coded before!

A Tech Jam is a model event for a community or school to celebrate computer science. The Tech Jam that Vidcode and Girl Scouts of Greater New York have created includes an Hour of Code, discussion questions, off the computer activities, and badges and certificates to win and share! It's free, and doesn't require signup OR prior experience.

By the end of the Tech Jam participants will have an understanding of the fundamentals of programming with JavaScript, and they'll have created a Bestie Video Greeting Card (like the one below) to share with their family and friends.

 

How to run a Tech Jam

Find information on running a successful Tech Jam in the Volunteer Guide, or print out the Participation Guide Booklet for you and the other volunteers.

You can mix and match Tech Jam steps to fit your needs, staff and schedule. For example, if you don’t have a volunteer or teacher to lead the event, the “Bestie Video Greeting Card” Hour of Code is a self-guided activity for students.

Other activities include Unplugged Activities to teach Computer Science Fundamentals without computers or even internet connection, volunteer led discussions before and after the Hour of Code, and a 'Hall of Fame' where participants can view their videos and code, and the projects of other participants! See a more detailed activity list and schedule.

To get started now, register your troop or class to get your event added to our events map. We'll also send you tips and resources as Computer Science Education Week gets closer!

 

How can you help 

You can help by spreading the word and getting your community involved! Tell teachers and Girl Scout Troop Leaders who might be interested in Hour of Code, or in running an entire Tech Jam!

Visit our Spread the Word page for resources to share your event. There are descriptions of the event, social media messages, graphics and banners for you to use to share to get your local community excited about Tech Jam, Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week!

 

 

Get Ready for Computer Science Education Week

Computer Science Education Week starts December 7th and ends the 13th. Get students excited by telling them about the certificates, Hall of Fame award and Hour of Code patches they could receive!

Still have questions about running your Tech Jam event or using Vidcode? We'd love to hear from you! Contact us at leandra@vidcode.io

We can't wait to see what you and your students create!

Hour of Code for teen girls