Hour of Code

The other day I saw an article on Yahoo about President Obama making a statement in support of Computer Science Education Week (http://csedweek.org/), an initiative that continues until this Sunday.  I had no idea that a week dedicated to the study of Comp Sci even existed, so I did some digging.  What I found on the CSEW website is SUPER cool…if you need a fun, educational, productive way to procrastinate while studying for your last few finals or writing your last papers, look no further.  Computer Science Education Week 2013 has been built around the “Hour of Code,” a 60 minute program that teaches users, from kindergarten students to grandparents, the basic principles behind coding.  The link below is the intro video explaining the “Hour of Code”:

This video is a really interesting rhetorical device in and of itself.  We see people like Ashton Kutcher, Shakira, and Angela Bassett lending their celebrity to the cause in an effort to attract people to coding.  The fact that such a broad campaign is necessary indicates Americans’ lack of understanding about the opportunities that become available by learning code.  The video, while conveying excitement and fun, still has a sense of urgency about it; there’s a lot of programming to be done, but not enough computer-literate individuals to fill the jobs.  Students aren’t likely to declare computer engineering or computer science majors without first gaining some kind of basic background in programming.  I know my school district did not have any kind of computer education beyond learning to type and use art tools in middle school.  Did any of you guys learn coding before coming to college?  Anyway, give the Hour of Code tutorial a try…it may give you some inspiration if you still have blog posts to write!

 

– Mary Kate

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