CS Education Week
Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science.
It is held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). During this week, many computer science related programs take place. Code.org has created the “Hour of Code” where during one hour, students are introduced to programming.
While programming is an important part of computer science, there are other facets of computer science that can also be explored during this week. Because of the awareness and success that Code.org was able to achieve, Computer Science Education Week is now more broadly referred to as the ‘Hour of Code’ event.
Why to host the Hour of Code at your school?
Computer Science is intellectually important to students growing up in the 21st century where technology is exponentially increasing in all professions. The ‘Hour of Code’ is a great opportunity for all students to get introduced to computer science in a fun way. Detailed information on the subject is available at: http://www.codeforfun.com/company/
Hour of Code Event Readiness Activities
Preparing for the Event:
Register your Hour of Code event online using: https://hourofcode.com/us
You will receive gift cards and it helps Code.org track how many participants engaged in the Computer Science Education week.
Go through our material for your class, as if you were a student reading it. Think about what questions students might have and where you think more time should be spent.
To be able to save the projects on Scratch, create accounts on https://scratch.mit.edu/ for your class. Do this ahead of time to save time during the class. Print out the account username and passwords to pass to the students at the beginning of the event. You will need one account per pair of students (not one for the entire class). However, the students can still do the activity without an account but will not be able to save it.
Distribute post-it notes among your students. They must stick up the post-it note on top rim of their machine every time they need assistance from the instructor or a room volunteer. This is an easy way of managing the chaos and getting instructor's attention. For more tips on classroom debugging best practices, visit this page.
Pair programming is a popular practice in technology classes and coding events. Students work in collaboration and learn from each other. Encourage your students to engage in pair programming for challenges and group projects. For more details on pair programming, you may read on the web or watch this video.
If you are going to be instructing, rehearse the material with another teacher/volunteer or a child at home to get some feedback.
On the day of the Event:
You will be using the ‘Pair programming’ method (1 computer per 2 students) except for 6th grade who will be using headsets.
Introduce yourself to the students and tell them briefly what you do at work. Introduce Computer Science and the importance of the Computer Science Education Week.
Take a count of how many students have done programming before. Use this data to report the data at the end of the event.
Explain to the students what they will be doing during the ’Hour of Code’ and get started. Don’t forget to HAVE FUN!!!
Distribute post-it notes (1 per student/pair) and explain that if they have a question, they should stick the post-it on top of their screen so as soon as an instructor is free, they will be able to help them.
Only for 3rd and 6th graders: distribute headsets.
Ideally, have a volunteer log into the Chromebooks and open Safari to the link of the activity (see the lesson plan) before the class begins.
The students who finish their activity for the class, can either help other students or do another activity on https://code.org/learn
Our recommendation on activities in: