This week, the Hour of Code initiative is providing kids in more than 150 countries the opportunity to get involved with technology. As part of this program, these kids actually get to work at computer programming, a program intended to make the art of creating technology more exciting and fun.
Although most of these kids already use some form of technology, few have actually developed anything. The Hour of Code involved kids from all ages with at-home lessons through Code.org/learn. These introductory lessons are completely free and consist of tutorials with Frozen’s Elsa and Anna or Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook with Angry Birds.
Although the tutorials can be completed online, if someone does not have consistent access to a computer, they can be downloaded and done with pen and paper. For kids just learning about computer coding, tutorials are also available with Khan Academy, a non-profit organization that was actually formed by a former hedge-fund analyst whose niece asked for assistance with math homework.
The great thing about the Hour of Code lessons through Khan Academy is that no experience is necessary. These tutorials are designed mainly for children eight years or older but with this, kids actually learn to write real code. While the lessons can be challenging and are obviously far more advanced than what most parents studied in school, they work.
There is also the Hour of Webpages whereby the basics of HTML and CSS are taught. Both of these programming languages are used to create web pages and because it is a little more advanced, it is recommended for kids 10 years old and up. The final project for this lesson is a holiday greeting card.
The Hour of Databases is also taught that covers database fundamentals using SQL. With this, kids learn to insert data, conduct basic querying, and create tables. Designed for kids 12 ears and up and a keyboard, creating an imaginary store is the final project.
Every Hour of Code module is specially designed to be completed within an hour but kids can take the amount of time needed to really digest the information. This initiative is part of the National Computer Science Education Week dedicated to computer science.