Next week sees the return of Computer Science Education Week, and with it the opportunity to join tens of millions of other students in over 180 countries, in participating in the Hour of Code!
Promoting STEM in the classroom
Digital skills are set to add £3bn to the economy in the next five years, and it is important that the next generation doesn’t miss out on the potential the digital world offers and the ability for them to succeed in it. The Hour of Code introduces students of any skill level to the basics and fundamentals of coding in sixty minutes or less. Coding can now be experienced in a fun and engaging way in the classroom, exposing students to skillsets that are currently in high demand. All of the Code.org tutorials are free for schools to utilise in the classroom, or at home.
A huge range of coding activities can be carried out on a range of devices, or all within your internet browser making things easy and accessible. Simple step by step instructions guide students and teachers through the process of created your very own games and programs. Everything is there ready to go, offering a range of activities from beginner to expert, helping students understand how the core fundamentals of coding translate into exciting, tangible creations.
“Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains” – Bill Gates
As technology has become an integral part of people’s daily lives around the world, we’re seeing a growing demand — from students, parents, teachers, governments, and nonprofits — to teach youth not only how to use technology, but also how to create technology to help them become the innovators and drivers of growth and opportunity in their communities. Learning computer science builds critical skills like computational thinking and problem solving that strengthen abilities in any industry and any sector.
To the community of 100 million players around the world, Minecraft represents many things – creativity, strategy, collaboration and survival, just to name a few. What many may not realise is that Minecraft has the power to transform learning on a global scale. By creating a virtual world and then advancing in it, students can learn digital citizenship, empathy, social skills and even improve their literacy – while getting real time feedback on their problem-solving skills from the teacher. In fact, more than 7,000 teachers around the world are already using Minecraft in the classroom.
Code.org now offers several Minecraft inspired coding tutorials for students and educators to participate in the Hour of Code. Tutorials utilise both the browser and the full version of Minecraft to immerse students in coding like never before. Players get to experience coding in a fun and familiar environment, making lessons even more impactful.
Microsoft has a long history of supporting educators and we remain committed to providing teachers the tools and training needed to redefine learning. Over the years we’ve trained more than 11 million educators through our Educator Community. Just this last year close to a half million more educators came to Microsoft trainings and workshops online, in our stores and at events.
Step 1: Get inspired by other educators here!
Step 2: Add a Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorial to your lesson!
Show your students the best place on the web to program animals, other creatures, and take characters on adventures at https://code.org/minecraft. Plus, check out the offline version of Minecraft Adventurer and the elementary, middle and high school educator teaching materials!
Step 3: Host, or empower your students to host an Hour of Code Event!
Students excitement and feeling of accomplishment is amplified when they work together to learn coding, and we especially find that older and/more experienced students get excited when they help other students learn! Make this possible by planning an Hour of Code event!
Step 4: Enhance your computer science (also literature and other lessons) by inviting a guest speaker to share why they love what they do and how students might get involved via Skype in the Classroom. Guest speakers are experts in their fields, volunteering their time to visit classrooms, share their knowledge and open new worlds for your students.
Step 5: When students discover they love coding, help them continue the journey!
Once students start coding, they often get excited and want to do more! Because coding develops computational thinking, provides cross-over experience into other subjects, and prepares students for the future job market, why not help?
Students can continue coding, plus build their creativity and confidence in one of the Coding Camps held worldwide. Or, more locally, students may want to hang out with their friends and classmates by starting a coding club. You can assist them by downloading the Imagine Coding Club Starter Kit or by directing them to YouthSpark’s Hub for more opportunities.
Step 6: Continue your journey.
After Celebrating Computer Science Education Week and being the coolest teacher around, you can bring more 21st century learning into your classroom through educator-focused training courses and learning paths such as Prepare to Teach Creative Coding Through Games and Apps, Teaching with Technology, 21st Century Learning and scenario-based Microsoft in the Classroom!
Once you’ve completed one of the above-listed courses or learning paths, you will have earned a 1000 points, a certificate and you will be a recognized Microsoft Innovative Educator.
Hour of Code and the Microsoft Educator Community
Check out our curated STEM Resources page and join the thousands of educators in our community who, like you, thrive on improved student outcomes through technology and fun events such as Hour of Code!
This Sway from #MIEExpert Natalie Burgess has some great examples of how you can get involved, and what the Hour of Code is all about!