This email sent by Gary Page from California Education Department is a great wrap up from the 'coding week' which was a huge success!
Special thanks to all the teachers and administrators who took time to introduce students to coding during the recent Hour of Code week. The campaign brought attention to the need for all students to understand computational thinking and will help bring attention to education policy and decision makers on the need to make computer science “count” towards graduation.
In a single week, students at schools across the U.S. wrote 500,000,000 lines of code as part of Computer Science Education Week, organizers said.
Many of our teachers in California answered the call. An article in US NEWS, reported students at Foshay Tech Academy in Los Angeles taught parents how to code. At Augustus Hawkins Critical Design and Gaming School in Los Angeles, students participating in Exploring Computer Science, a yearlong college prep program, taught their own teachers to code.
As you look ahead to next year, take time to consider adopting new exceptional programs that promote computational thinking: Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and the C-STEM Center at UC Davis. Both of these programs offer exceptional professional development for teachers and excellent curriculum to help students learn the knowledge and skills for high-paying jobs in the Information and Communication Technologies sector. Students can begin learning about using computers in Elementary and Middle School. High school courses should prepare students for college and careers.
Gary Page, Information Technology Consultant
Remember our discussion of the HOUR OF CODE INITIATIVE in an earlier post on this blog (Nov 7, 2013)? We talked about how the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 designated Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) in honor of Grace Murray Hopper’s birthday. Ms. Hopper--actually admiral Hopper-- as you may remember was a computer scientist and a pioneer computer programmer in the U.S. Navy. This year, 2013, Computer Science Education Week was scheduled for December 9th through 13th.
In addition to the Week’s mandated government designation, a group of heavy hitters in the computer world including Amazon’s Jeff Bezoz and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg got behind a code.org initiative asking every teacher in the United States to spend at least one hour during this week talking about computer coding, thereby introducing an estimated 10 million students to coding. Facebook and Twitter even developed a tutorial for educators that might not have a background in coding.
If a recent e-mail from Gary Page, a technology consultant with the California Department of Education is any indication, the HOUR OF CODE INITIATIVE was a great success. He e-mailed California school administrators and teachers that students created over 500 million lines of code as a result of the initiative. Of course being a California educator, he also went on to say how proud he was of teachers in the state that went out of their way to make the HOUR OF CODE INITIATIVE a success. Interestingly enough, he reported that Students at Foshay Tech Academy in Los Angeles taught their parents how to code while at Augustus Hawkins Critical Design and Gaming school in Los Angeles the students even taught their teachers how to code.
Sounds like the initiative was a great success. RobotsLAB hopes the initiative will be repeated in the coming year. This is just the kind of imaginative thinking that coupled with some creative tools like our RobotsLAB BOX could bring this country out of the STEM learning doldrums!