Khan Academy

Do You Want To Code With Elsa and Anna?

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What is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is a two year old non-profit organization that focuses on expanding the knowledge of computer science to everyone.  Hour of Code makes the tools for learning programming and computer science easily accessible.  More than 59 million students have participated in the Hour of Code.  This foundation is bringing in a lot of diversity into the STEM fields.  41% of the students taking online courses are girls.  In the high school classrooms, 34% of the students are girls and 60% of them are African American or Hispanic.  The courses are available in more than 30 languages.

Completing the tutorials

I decided to work independently on completing the tutorials so I could finish them at my own pace.  The first tutorial I completed was “Creating a Winter Wonderland”.  The theme of it was the movie Frozen.  I thought this was a really cute and easy way to start learning coding.  It had you use blocks to write lines of code.  The lines you created made Elsa and Anna skate around a pond tracing snowflakes.  My little cousin loves Frozen and I bet just the theme of the lesson would make her  want to learn how to code.  It is so simple to do!  To complete multiple tutorials it is quite lengthy.  There is an average of 20 lessons per tutorial.  

Where can I use the tutorials?

The courses work the best on computer.  I tried using it on the iPad but it just directed me to multiple apps that I can learn how to code on.  Code Academy is a good iPad app for learning how to code.  I used that previously to the Hour of Code.

Levels of Difficulty:

The Frozen tutorial was definitely the easiest.  All you had to do was drag and drop the pieces together and write lines of code that said things like, “Spin 180 degrees” and “Move 100 pixels”, etc.  The hardest tutorial was the Javascript one.  Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.30.54 AM

 

The tutorials gave you hints on what to do.  They were really easy to follow and you could move along at your own pace.  The Javascript had a screencast that you are supposed to watch, however, it is a harder topic to learn so the video was also harder to follow.

I am more interested in exploring the Computer Science field now that I tried the Hour of Code.  My advice for students next year is to allow for more time to complete the tutorials.  I would also suggest new comers to start out with the easy tutorials like the Frozen one, or Coding for Beginners.  That way the users can learn the very basics of what coding does and means before coming up with their own lines of code.