This week, 151,339 Hour of Code events are taking place around the world, and thanks to our Technology Integration Specialist Lara Gee and new Associate Junior School teacher Annie Dearden, 280 Junior School students at CDS participated in one of them!
The Hour of Code first started as a one-hour introduction to computer science and intended to demonstrate that anyone can learn how to code. It has become a global movement held every December to celebrate computer science and programming, and reaches tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries. No experience is necessary and you can use a smartphone, PC or tablet. In fact, some tutorials don’t require a computer at all.
Here’s what people have to say about their experience: “Being able to code gives you the freedom to build all sorts of mobile apps or games.” “Anyone can do it.” “You can bring any idea to life.” “You’ll get stronger and succeed.” “Just push yourself.”
Prime Minister Trudeau made a game about hockey in an hour, President Obama became the first U.S. President to write a line of code in 2014, and Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai urged girls, in particular, to give it a try. “Every girl deserves to take part in creating the technology that will change our world.”
As part of the lead up to the event, both teachers explained to the students that programming is so much more than just their favourite games and is used across many different industries such as agriculture, sports, public safety, fashion and art. They emphasized that although different technologies are incredibly efficient, they require programmers to give them instructions and information (through code and other programming languages) in order to carry out the amazing work and functions that they do.
And this week in the Junior School, each CDS student got to realize the magnitude of their teachers’ insights firsthand and at their own level. They took to it like ducks to water! Lara Gee and Annie Dearden booked each class in the MacLab and students rolled up their sleeves and got to work.
“The Hour of Code has been a huge success this week in the Junior School,” reported Ms. Gee. “Every student in JK to Grade 6 took the challenge of becoming computer programmers, solving problems and exploring the world of coding! This has been a great opportunity for our students to experience a combination of struggles and accomplishments. It’s very exciting to hear them reach the moment of “I did it!"
Ms. Dearden added, “Our students got to see firsthand how they can create programs with the characters that they love – Minecraft, Disney’s Moana, and Star Wars to name a few! By participating in the Hour of Code, students engaged in critical design thinking, all while developing skills they will use well beyond the computer.”
Next week our Middle School girls will become programmers and coders for the day and learn how to use a software development platform to create a functioning app during our first CDS Hackathon on Tuesday, December 13. Stay tuned!