Yesterday I did my first session of Hour of Code with the non-profit organization, Code.org. Code.org would like every student in every school to have the opportunity to learn computer science just like they do other subjects like biology and math. This would in turn create more interest in coding and programming, and students would be more likely to pursue this as a career in the future. I think this is a great initiative because computer science is extremely valuable to our society, and people in developing countries are able to contribute to these technologies without needing many resources or much infrastructure.
The above image explains my first interaction with coding. The program I chose was Star Wars themed, and the avatar at the top would give me jobs to get done for points. I completed them by using the tools in the middle of the screen and dragging them to the white area. Then I’d press “run” and my droid would move as it was instructed to. If the droid does what it was supposed to, you move onto the next level.
I liked how intuitive the game was, and I liked that it challenged your critical thinking at the same time. I’m not the kind of person who reads instructions a lot, and I found that I was able to figure out how to complete my task without trouble. It also took less than an hour to do all the levels for me, more like 45 minutes. I liked this, too, because it felt like an award on its own. The challenges started to get harder, but I noticed that we used the skills learnt in the previous level to understand the next. Here’s a screencast video I made with Screen-O-Matic, it’s of me working through a problem I didn’t quite understand.
I think I got through it pretty well, and honestly I felt like the program was enjoyable. I’d play it again, and I would definitely have my students try it. I signed up for an account so that I can use it in the future, and I think it would be great for any school-aged child. We would just have to ensure that they’re using the best program for them!
Above is my certificate of completion. Overall I loved the program and I liked exploring the website for other options. I think that it would be neat to work through a full 120 hour coding course, however the hour of code sessions are maybe more practical. What did you think of coding, have you ever tried?