Going Beyond an Hour of Coding!

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an annual initiative that aims to inspire K-12 students to take interest in computer science. During this annual program, schools around the world host their own Hour of Code™. Organized by Code.org, Hour of Code™ is a one-hour basic introduction designed to celebrate and expand participation in computer science. This year, CSEdWeek took place from December 5th to 11th, and two of edWeb.net’s professional learning communities (PLC) presented webinars that highlighted the importance of coding and computer science in education.

Beyond the #HourofCodeThe Coding & Robotics K-8 PLC, sponsored by Wonder Workshop, hosted the webinar, “Beyond the Hour of Code: Implementation for All,” on December 6th. Bryan Miller, Educator Community Manager at Wonder Workshop, and Kiki Prottsman, Curriculum Development Manager at Code.org®, presented on how to continue coding in the classroom after holding an Hour of Code. Throughout the webinar, they addressed issues often encountered by schools including why coding should be taught in schools and what students learn through coding, struggles teachers face after completing an Hour of Code, how to fit coding into a typical school day, and resources and funding available for schools to continue to teach coding.Coding and the 4 C's

“In the year 2020 we’ll have 1.4 million jobs that will be available in the area of coding and computer science…only .4 million students are actually being prepared for that,” said Bryan, stating a statistic from Code.org. Coding helps students develop the 4 Cs of 21st century learning (communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking/problem solving), helps them with learning to learn, or recognizing that they can learn on their own, and helps develop a mentality of a 21st century world. It is now easier than ever to integrate coding into the classroom with curricula like those on Code.org, and learning tools like Wonder Workshop’s robots Dot and Dash.

Events in codingIn schools that wish to have coding become a regular part of the curriculum, where do educators begin if they are unfamiliar with the subject? The Digital Learning & Leadership PLC, hosted by Common Sense Education and sponsored by Symantec, hosted the webinar, “Now I Have to Teach Coding? A Beginner’s Guide,” on December 8th. James Denby, Curriculum and Course Designer for IdeaDrivenEducation and Eduro Learning, and Common Sense Ambassador; and Robin Ulster, Curriculum and Course Designer for IdeaDrivenEducation and Eduro Learning, presented simple ways to teach coding to beginners using methods and tools that educators can also use when learning coding for the first time.

Value of pseudo codeJames and Robin suggested trying unplugged activities that don’t require technology or devices to teach concepts of coding like sequencing, looping, and events. They also recommended tools like Kodable, Blockly Games, Hopscotch, and Scratch. Many of these programs incorporate pseudo code, which is an easier first step before learning a real coding language. These tools are great for not only students, but teachers who are also coding beginners. James and Robin emphasized that making mistakes is all part of the process. “We think it’s a way of building resilience…it’s a way of reinforcing what you are learning,” said James. This is something that was highlighted in both webinars.

Beyond the Hour of Code: Implementation for All” was hosted by edWeb.net and sponsored by Wonder Workshop.


Now I Have to Teach Coding? A Beginner’s Guide” was hosted by edWeb.net and Common Sense Education and sponsored by Symantec.


This article was modified and published by eSchool News.

Join the Coding & Robotics K-8 Community

Coding & Robotics K-8 is bringing together thought leaders, technical experts, leading-edge educators, and industry leaders to provide educators with new information, resources, ideas, and a place for discussion on how to teach coding and robotics, and how to integrate computer science and coding theory into core subjects, especially for students in grades K-8. Join the community to access tools to engage students in creative instruments that combine computational thinking with real-world application.

Join the Digital Learning & Leadership Community

Digital Learning & Leadership brings the latest information in teaching with technology and subjects like designing digital learning experiences and lessons, applying learning models (SAMR, TPACK, flipped classroom, game-based learning, and more), finding and evaluating high-quality edtech, using social media in the classroom and for professional growth, building a positive school culture of digital citizenship, and helping parents guide kids’ media use. Join the community to connect with others, participate in discussion, and gain access to resources.