The Hour of Code at JY Joyner Elementary School

hour-of-code-kidsUpdate 12/12/13: I added  slideshow of pictures at the end of the post:

Monday morning I went over to my daughter’s elementary school, JY Joyner and I had the pleasure of helping introduce computer science to  a classroom of bright-eyed 1st graders. We had the 1st graders use the Kodable app and it was awesome! I was so encouraged by the kids willingness to try something new and I truly saw inspiration yesterday. As they figured out the game they were thinking computationally. When they realized they had generated code I saw them ponder what that  meant. I saw children considering the idea that they can be wizards and make computers do amazing things. I left inspired and humbled…the kind of feeling you get whenever you serve or volunteer (isn’t awesome how God designed that) and I want to do more to help introduce children to the opportunity that exists in computer science. And boy is there an opportunity! A $500 billion for OUR KIDS!

 

Let’s Keep the Excitement Going

There is so much excitement this week already. President Obama did his part to encourage our kids to code. And Apple is offering an Hour of Code Youth Workshop in their retail stores on today (December 11th). So if you haven’t participated it’s not too late.

What I’m wondering is how do we keep it going? In our families and all around the country? How do we keep the excitement going? Well first of all parents need to be aware of what their children are doing on their iPads and try to steer them into these games that promote computational thinking. Then once they’re older, like 8, encourage kids to learn how to literally write a program. The Computer Science Education week website has a great list of tutorials for programming activities beyond the Hour of Code. So use these resources parents!

Let’s keep introducing new things to our children that will encourage them to continue learning about computers. Let’s keep finding ways to get more iPads in our schools. Let’s keep sharing what tools we’re using to teach our kids with other parents. Parents are YEARNING for a list of apps that helpful and teach computing skills.

 

Computer Science & Early Education

Can you imagine where the US could be in 15 years if we could take half of the money we use to keep folks in prison and funnel that towards early learning programs that focus on teaching computer science. I’ll say that I’m quite convinced of these things:

  • Investing government money into early childhood eduction has a positive ROI.
  • Computer science should be taught as early as humanly possible.
  • Every parent that reads this would do more than well to commit to getting their kids to participate in the Hour of Code and READ THIS.

I’m not sure how we’ll get there but I want to be part of the solution that convinces the leaders of this nation to invest in both early childhood education and computer science.

 

So what do you think? Did you participate in the Hour of Code?