Guess what this week is, boys and girls? That’s right. It’s Computer Science Education Week. And the Computer Science Teacher’s Association (did I mention I was the Nebraska chapter president) along with Code.org is sponsoring an Hour of Code.
So far over 6,000,000 people have tried their hand at writing computer programs for an hour. We’re having all of the students at Lincoln Lutheran give it a try (during math class). We’re doing it over a two-day period and it’s been working out okay.
There are about 20 different tutorials that you can choose from. We’re having students start off with the Angry Birds/Plants vs. Zombies tutorial. It uses a programming language called Scratch that you program by dragging different colored blocks around the screen.
The tutorials are mostly game-like. And, while you can’t do anything really Earth-shaking in an hour, you can get an idea of whether you might like to learn more about programming. They say that there will be 1,400,000 new Computer Science jobs in the next 6 year, but we are on pace to produce only 400,000 Computer Science majors.
This concerns big computer companies like Google and Microsoft, so they are sponsoring this sort of thing to encourage more people to study programming (and to encourage more schools to teach it).
You can try the Angry Bird’s Tutorial and see what you think. No, seriously, give it a try.