Hour of Code is an exciting venture marked by learning, curiosity, and team work. As I work with a local DC School on this event and help bring the best that a group of volunteers can offer to a school, I am excited for what impacts Hour of Code holds for Ron Brown High School.
If people have recently heard about Ron Brown, it is a local DC school that has been going through a lot of new changes and turmoil. While arriving to Ron Brown with a curriculum has not been the best approach, it has taught me to be open and spontaneous and to prepare for the unexpected. For example, initially when planning a lesson for the hour of code I was confronted with planning without being fully aware of what the kids would actually enjoy, learn, and be equipped to tackle in an hour.As I equip to lead an event, there are several layers and pieces to the preparation. However, mostly it it has been producing different iterations and adding to my preparation leading into the event, and having an open mind to change even leading into the day of the event.
In the mean time, here are some tips:
The first is to surround myself by a team of people that know much more than I do about coding. Of course this is simple because I work at a technology company with a lot of software developers who surround me with resources and advice of how to begin to prepare for an event like hour of code
The second step of preparation has been learning up on how coding actually works, and how a child would see it, which is not hard given that I have limited coding background. Therefore, what I have done over the past several days has been to practice what it feels like to start from a very fundamental place and begin to unravel more complicated topics. In order to do this we start with games. Games and playing is the best way to bring people new to the topic into the folds. There are games for all preferences and ages and I have been taking a CS Teaching Fundamentals course which is exposing me to the wealth of resources educators can bring to their students to engage them in coding.
Instead with a game, it will give kids the simulation of a video game or a computer game, which to them they are just having fun but really their brain is learning the logic and building blocks of code.