Celebrate Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13, with an #HourofCode

The Hour of Code initiative is in celebration of Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13 each year. 180+ countries are participating in The Hour of Code initiative this year. Anyone can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience is needed – and technical volunteers are wanted. Currently, the Hour of Code website has identified nearly 200,000 events located around the world that are taking place this week.

Many educators are focusing on creating an Hour of Code event with young girls since the gender disparity in the field of computing and IT has grown in the last few decades. (See more on this issue at SitWithMe.org and how this growing disproportionality is negatively impacting not only educational institutions but also the workplace.) Several of us here at the University of Kentucky are coming together to create an initiative called #IamaWomanInSTEM.  UGE will launch the initiative this spring with undergraduate women in STEM+H related majors and minors with their mentors (faculty and staff from UK as well as in business and industry who have STEM backgrounds).

The goal for the #HourOfCode movement is to find some time during this week to bring together tens of millions of people – to show that everyone should have the opportunity to learn computer science.

You can do the Hour of Code anytime during this week – so long as you (and/or your collaborators) finish the Hour of Code tutorial. Start your own Hour of Code at https://code.org/learn and try the tutorials there. Many of the tutorials focus on famous games or fictional characters such as Minecraft, Star Wars, and Angry Birds.

Another idea is to learn about computer science in a free and open (some of them self-paced) computer science course online. Here are a few for you to consider.

Code Studio offers online courses in computer science fundamentals for all ages (either one-hour courses or 20-hour courses) created by Code.org – engineers from Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter. See more at https://studio.code.org/.

The edX partners are publicizing many different intro courses in computer science in celebration of Computer Science Education Week, such as:

  • Harvey MuddX – Programming in Scratch
  • Harvard X – Introduction to Computer Science
  • AdelaideX – Think. Create. Code.
  • IITBombayX – Introduction to Computer Programming, Part I
  • HKUSTx – Introduction to Java Programming, Part I
  • UC3Mx – Intro to Programming with Java, Part I
  • UC BerkeleyX – The Beauty and Joy of Computing (CS Principles), Part I
  • UBCx – Systematic Program Design-Part 1: The Core Method
  • LinuxFoundationX – Introduction to Linux
  • UPValenciaX – CLEP Information Systems and Computer Applications, Part 1: IT

Coursera partners also offer many introductory CS courses for free, such as:

  • Univ of MI – Python for Everybody
  • UC, San Diego – Interaction Design
  • UC, San Diego – Java Programming: Object-Oriented Design of Data Structures
  • CA Institute of the Arts – Fundamentals of Graphic Design
  • Univ of MD, College Park – Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems, Part 1
  • Duke U – Java Programming: An Introduction to Software
  • Hong Kong Univ of Sci & Tech – HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Univ of Toronto – iOS App Development with Swift
  • Mich State U – Game Design and Development

Probably the most famous – and most popular worldwide – introductory course in computer science is the one offered by Udacity. Check out the free and open components to Intro to Computer Science: Build a Search Engine and a Social Network.

Join in the movement – do an Hour of Code for yourself and for those around you in our fast and growing global world of technology.

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About Randolph Hollingsworth

Assistant Provost, University of Kentucky
This entry was posted in Diversity, Educational Technology, Open Educational Resources and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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