This week's blog and questions were written by Angie Kalthoff since this week is Hour of Code week. My personal feelings on teaching kids to code have nothing to do with Preparing Them For Jobs Of The Future so directly. When I watch students code I see them thinking around corners in a much more concrete way than they might during other assignments. Coding encourages iteration, experimentation, and risk-taking. Coding makes kids think in specifics while also being creative with solutions. It's a logic puzzle with real-world applications. I like Hour of Code and I use it in my class. I also move beyond it with apps like Wonder and Tickle and bots like Dash and Sphero and Parrot drones. This is never going to be a space to shill for a special EduWeek or EduMonth just because it's that time. Hour of Code is the real deal. Like everything else, it's not the ONLY deal, but I encourage the leap to check it out at Code.org with your kids whether you know how to code or not. You don't even need to set up a class account, though that's real easy too. It's one of those great things you can put them on with zero prep and say, "Now, learn how this works." And they will, even the littles. I've seen it with my own two gorgeous green eyes. Then your job is to tie it back to everything else we do. Which is pretty much 90% of the job anyway.
Q: 90 % of families want their kids to learn about this, but only 40% of schools teach it…By the year 2020 there will be an estimated 1.4 million jobs in this area with only 400,000 graduates. Can you guess what it is?
Computer Science! While technology is changing everything and it is a big part of our future, many students are consumers of technology instead of creators. By introducing computer science to our learners at a young age, we can help close the gap! This week we celebrate Computer Science Education Week with a kick off of the Hour Of Code. During this time educators will introduce their students to computer science through activities that can exceed, but don’t have to, one hour of time. The goal is to expose students and share this topic with them, we don’t expect students to become experts in one hour. If you want to learn more or try some cool activites, you can visit https://code.org/learn . If you want to attend a free in person Code.org workshop aimed at K-6 educators, you can check them out at https://code.org/professional-development-workshops . Check out #HourOfCode and #CsForAll to connect with your peers!