by Sue Fitzgerald, Library/Media Specialist and Kirsten Wilson, Instructional Technology Coach
The “Hour of Code” has proven to be a very exciting adventure for students that has just begun. The development and launch of this event was driven by students’ passion for coding and educators’ efforts to provide the opportunity. It was collaboration in its purest form for everyone involved.
How it Happened
There were several factors that came into play that brought this event to fruition. Here are some of the major factors that made “Hour of Code” a reality:
Our district began an initiative to host student ePortfolios on Google sites.
Two forward-thinking future-minded student library aides took the leadership role in hosting “Technology Club” during 7th and 8th grades lunches to help answer questions on the ePortfolios.
A group of coders took full advantage of attending the “Technology Club”.
The student aides and the librarian quickly realized the “Technology Club” was about to advance into the world of coding.
The librarian informed the Instructional Technology (IT) Coach and principal of the enthusiasm of these students who wanted to code.
The IT Coach found the opportunity for our students to participate in the “Hour of Code.” Not only did our IT Coach offer this opportunity to our school but spread the word through Twitter PLNs and our district to have many other schools join the campaign.
Students eagerly came by the library to sign up for the event after the news spread via our coders.
During our “Hour of Code” event our IT Coach collaborated with another IT coach in the district to Skype with a sister Middle School campus also participating during the “Hour of Code” and share as we worked through Java coding tutorial offered through code.org.
As the adults in this process, we knew very little about coding . We did recognize the amazing opportunity this would be for our students by choosing to take on this challenge. We also saw how important it is for educators to take risks when facilitating students’ pursuit of their passions and facilitate the process for student-led passion-based learning.
Comments we have received –
L.A. Teacher – “I am so excited my student is involved with this group. For the first time during DEAR he had a book out and was reading. It was a book on coding!”
Student participant in “Hour of Code”- “This gave me such a sense of accomplishment!”
Student participant in “Hour of Code”- “I have already talked to my teacher and plan to work ahead in his class so I can come for both lunch sessions as we continue to meet.”
Instructional Technology Assistant Director- “By providing ‘The Hour of Code’ you have just provided a social platform for these students that gives them a place to not only pursue their passion but a place for those that are like-minded to meet. Their lives will be forever changed.”
Librarian – “I just wanted to thank you for sending this out!! I’ve got 73 kids signed up!”