Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A Curation of Resources for The Hour of Code 2014 (and Beyond!)

The Hour of Code will soon be upon us and it's going to be the largest global learning event in history!
Last year the Hour of Code reached 15 million users and 10 million girls just within 5 days! That was an introduction. And now there is a push for more Computer Programming courses in education. This year the goal is to reach 100 million users! So how can you participate and what resources are available for you and your students? I've curated everything I could possibly find for The Hour of Code (and beyond...)!


The tutorials available on the Code.org website are great! They're fun and engaging and they teach important programming skills to students of all ages through leveled activities. The tutorials are also perfect for exposing students to the mysterious and vastly unknown world of programming. But when I think of The Hour of Code and Computer Science in general in regards to the typical teacher, I can't help but think about the following questions:
  • How can we integrate this into our existing curriculum so that its purposeful?
  • Most of us don't even know or understand programming, so how do we  teach it and apply it in our classrooms?
  • How can schools and communities create more opportunities for students to engage with computer science?
  • What other resources and support exist for teachers interested in integrating computer science in their curriculum?
  • What happens after The Hour of Code?
  • How do we encourage more girls to explore an interest in computer science?
I've curated a detailed list of resources that I hope helps answer these questions. These resources include apps, curriculum guides,  professional development, and extracurricular opportunities for students.



Mobile Apps That Teach Coding

In my search for iPad apps that teach and promote programming to children, I found quite a list for a variety of age levels! Some of these apps are available on multiple devices and some of the app developers have even created teacher resources and curriculums!

 Daisy the Dinosaur
(ages 4-8)
iTunes (FREE)


Run Marco!
(ages 4-8)
iTunes (FREE)
Google Play (FREE)
Scratch Jr
(ages 5-7)
iTunes (FREE)

Kodable
(ages 6-8)
iTunes (Freemium)
CodeQuest
(ages 6-8)
iTunes (FREE)


The Foos
(ages 6-8)
iTunes (FREE)

Hopscotch
(ages 9-11)
iTunes (FREE)
CargoBot
(ages 4+)
iTunes (FREE)
Made with the Codea iPad app!
Tynker
(ages 9-11)
iTunes (FREE)
Google Play (FREE)
Move the Turtle
(ages 9-11)
iTunes ($2.99)


LightBot
(ages 9-11)
iTunes (FREE)
iTunes ($2.99)
Codea
(middle & high school)
iTunes ($9.99)

Build apps on your iPad!
Hakitzu Elite
(ages 9+, fantasy violence)
iTunes (Freemium)
Google Play (Freemium)
RoboComBasic
(ages 9 - High School)
iTunes (FREE)
Google Play (FREE)


KineScript
(ages 9 - High School)
iTunes (FREE w/ Ads)
iTunes ($1.99)



CodeAcademy
(middle & high school)
iTunes (FREE)
Khan Academy
(middle & high school)
Computer Programming Course
iTunes (FREE)



Web-Based Coding Activities

BotLogic.us - BotLogic.us is an educational puzzle game that challenges kids and adults to tackle complex logic problems while teaching valuable programming concepts.
GameStarMechanic - Gamestar Mechanic uses fun, game-based quests and courses to help you learn game design and make your own video games!
Blockly GamesBlockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming. It is designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming. By the end of these games, players are ready to use conventional text-based languages.

Curriculum, Lesson Ideas, & Resources

Playing games and activities that teach and promote coding is one thing, but what needs to happen in our schools is a transformation of how Computer Science is treated and a plan for classroom integration. But we struggle with the idea of teaching Computer Science in our classrooms because: (1) we don't completely understand it (2) we don't have the proper resources to implement it. For those reasons, I've gathered a list of some of the most comprehensive curriculum, lesson ideas, resources, and articles for teaching Programming and Computer Science in your classroom at any grade level!

CodeAcademy Curriculum
Code.org K-5 Curriculum
Code.org Middle School CS in Science Curriculum
Code.org Middle School CS in Math Curriculum


Encouraging Girls to Code


Part of this big push for more Computer Science and Programming in education is to also encourage girls to enter related career paths. According to the Made with Code website, only 0.4% of female college freshman plan to major in CS. And since the 1990s, women with degrees in CS have dropped from 29% to 18%. There shouldn't be a gender equality gap, no matter what the profession. I've gathered a list of resources and opportunities that can help school's encourage more girls to participate!



Start a club for girls! Create a Girls Who Code Club
Inspire girls with Women Makers and Female Mentors!
Connect a hobby with CS! Have them try a Sew Electric Activity
Read how a simple introduction can hook a student for life! NYTimes "I Am Woman, Watch Me Hack”


Continue to Foster that Interest in CS

Once The Hour of Code is finished and gone, what's next? What else can we do to help encourage and foster an interest in Computer Science in our students? Create a safe, engaging, and fun opportunity beyond the classroom, start a club and join a workshop! Here are some resources to get started!

7 Steps to Start a Coding Club at Your School

Girls Who Code Club
CoderDojo Clubs
Code Club World
After School Tynker Club




Follow Michael's board Coding for Kids on Pinterest.



BONUS: Decorate a Christmas Tree w/ Google's Made with Code