Hour of Code – why do it?

There is a lot of buzz surrounding coding in schools right now. If you mention coding, I’m sure you will generate a lot of attention.

However, before moving down the path, I think it’s crucial to ask yourself “why?” Why is coding important? Why does everyone want to code? Is coding just the new buzzword? Well, yes – it is. But, it can be more than a buzzword.

It’s important to know why you’re jumping on the coding train. Because of it’s new popularity and support from several high profile names, it can become something people just do. For instance, I have encountered several educators this year who are now pushing the Hour of Code and code in the classroom because of its fame but not because they know or understand the need.

And, as a result, we have classrooms where coding is separate, where coding is this fun extra activity, where coding is an addition. Rather, coding should be pushed for it’s value; for what we know it does: encourage logic.

Logic is a way of thought that is difficult to teach. However, coding can be implemented in any curriculum to help with this understanding. Logic is a skill everyone needs.

So, I urge you – do join in on the coding momentum because coding is logic and logic is a way of thinking we all need to be skilled at. However, don’t join in the coding movement simply because “everyone else is.” This only separates coding from being an integral part of the classroom. We need to know and understand why it’s necessary.

In honor of Hour of Code, the two clubs I sponsor at my high school, Girls Who Code and Warrior Tech, will be sponsoring a week of activities including an introductory session and a mentoring session. Rather than simply engaging in the games – because everyone is doing it – these activities (all still part of the Hour of Code) have purpose behind them – teaching logic and mentorship. Our students will assist other students in completing the activities to shed light on their clubs as well as our Computer Science classes. Our students will also assist students at an area elementary school in completing the hour of code. By doing this, students see a purpose and a connection.

Your challenge: when completing the Hour of Code, give it purpose and continuance. Don’t let it just be an “hour,” but, rather, use the Hour of Code to bring it into the classroom full-time.

Curious what we’re doing? See our activities below and read about them here.

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