Batman has always been my favorite superhero for the sheer fact that he does not have super powers. He taught everyone that you do not need to fly in from another planet or be bitten by a spider to help people. He taught us that anyone can make a difference as long as we work hard to solve the problem. Similarly, The Hour of Code has provided this message to children, teenagers, and adults throughout the world.
Coding is often regarded as the world’s first superpower. This is because of the expressive ways in which students can create, communicate, and collaborate to help others and solve problems. Coding essentially teaches students to evaluate a problem, contemplate a solution, and construct a design. Organizations and initiatives all over the world are promoting programming and computer literacy in schools. One organization, Code.org, promoted the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code invited students, teachers, parents, siblings, and anyone interested in learning code to try one hour of programming.
Code.org is beautifully structured in the way in which it attracts students. Prominent movie characters such as Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen invite students to help them code snowflakes in ice. Similarly, students are enticed to create their own version of the popular iOS game, Flappy Birds.
Using iconic images and programs to appeal to students is truly genius. Aside from merely captivating students, integration of these characters demonstrates the application of coding in diverse and interesting fields. Users can understand that coding is not an intimidating series of numbers on a screen, but that it is the creation of beautiful art that we interact with every day.
Burlington Public Schools were among the millions around the world to partake in the Hour of Code. Students and teachers at the four elementary schools, the middle school, and the high school eagerly created Code.org accounts and started learning. Demonstrating their understanding of concepts and commands by completing a variety of puzzles, Burlington students could been seen coding in classrooms, hallways, libraries, computer labs, and even at the lunch table with friends. Some elementary students even devoted recess periods to furthering their understanding of programming.
Celebrating the Hour of Code meant more to Burlington than manipulating technology. It was an opportunity to collaborate with peers, explore new and uncharted possibilities, and discover unique potential. Students at Pine Glen Elementary even got the opportunity to have a Google Hangout with staff at Hopscotch, a programming application for students.
Ultimately, the Hour of Code taught students is that computer programming is everywhere, and anyone can do it. Programmers solve problems in a variety of ways, reach diverse groups every day, and innovate with creative projects. The Hour of Code demonstrated the benefits of coding and spread global interest. Computer programming is not for an elite group. Computer programming is for us.