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Hour of Code

posted Dec 12, 2014, 2:03 PM by Jo-Ann Fox   [ updated Jan 23, 2015, 10:14 AM by Tom Borer ]

The Quantum Academy team set out to bring coding to students all around Escondido during the second annual Hour of Code. Last year began the Hour of Code movement to take place during Computer Science Education Week, and it was a worldwide success! The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, “designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.” 15 million students participated last year and more girls tried computer science than in the last 70 years! This year’s Hour of Code has over 77,000 events planned around the globe, including many events taking place right here in Escondido.

Red dots represent Hour of Code events.

One of those Escondido events included the Quantum Academy team visiting schools throughout the Escondido Union School District. Here is where the Quantum Academy team visited during the week of the Hour of Code:

  • Monday- Reidy Creek Elementary

  • Tuesday- Miller Elementary

  • Wednesday- Bernardo Elementary

  • Friday- Rose Elementary

The Quantum Academy team introduced students to vocabulary words such as coding, programming, algorithms, and debugging. Students learned about some of the many languages of code such as HTML, Java, and binary.

In addition, the Quantum Academy team used an “offline” lesson where students program using arrows and red cups. Students were given the opportunity to write code to program their teacher, as a virtual robot, to create a cup tower.

Mrs. Camejo’s students programmed this cup stack!

Following that lesson, students then transferred their new knowledge of coding with arrows to experience the iOS app Lightbot.

Students at Reidy Creek collaborating.

Here are the resources we used:

Learning beyond the code:

Coding is creative.

The possibilities of coding allow for a variety of ways to solve a problem. This inspires students to think creatively.

Coding is collaborative.

The Quantum Academy team brought only enough iPads for students to share. The result of this was a murmur of discussions happening all over the classroom. Students were helping eachother troubleshoot, think, and debug their codes.

Coding is communicating.

The murmur of noise that happened in the room during the Hour of Code consisted of on task discussions. Not only were students discussing the best strategy for their code, they were also using effective communication skills. They were learning to relate to each other better on an academic level. In addition, they were creating a code language that needed to communicate to a computer. This was an added bonus!

Coding is using critical thinking and reasoning skills.

Coding and critical thinking go perfectly together. Programmers are always searching for a better or more efficient way to write their code. In addition, when the program doesn’t work, one must dig through the code to find the bug. Students quickly discovered their mistakes are what make coding fun! They loved putting on their “detective goggles” and searching for the place where they made a mistake so they can get their code to work accurately.

Coding honors perseverance.

Sometimes coding isn’t easy. But that is where perseverance comes in. Rather than thinking, this is impossible, students quickly took on the attitude of this is challenging, but with hard work I can do this!

Coding impacts the community.

Coding impacts our daily lives. That is just life in the 21st century. After experiencing the Hour of Code, students understand this far better than before. When once they simply opened up their favorite game on their iPad, now they are wondering, “What code lies underneath this app?” When once they simply went to their favorite website, now they are wondering, “What does the HTML look like?” Now the Quantum Academy team is wondering...

“What will our students one day be able to create with their new understanding of coding and programing?”

“How will this lead our students to making a positive impact on the community?”

Here are more resources for students to enhance their coding skills at home:

iOS Apps

  • Kodable

  • Cargobot

  • Scratch Jr.

  • Hopscotch

  • Tynker

  • The Foos

Web Resources: