« CSEA Legislation Timeline | Main | Computer Science History »

A Nine Minute Revolution

Last year I showed my programming students the nine minute version of the video Code.org created and we talked about what they thought and if anything surprised them. It was a fairly productive conversation but I didn't feel all the students participated. This year I tried something different and announced that we were going to watch a nine minute video and then they were going to write down what they felt about it, if they agreed or disagreed with anything said, or just what their reaction had been. I did not tell them the topic or give any other description than that. I played the video for the calls and then told them not to talk to anyone but go to their response page and type something. Some of the quotes are below.

These are actual student quotes so some of the sentences are not structurally sound but I had told them I wanted reactions and comments not perfect paragraphs and I got just that.

Programming isn't always just in computers, its all around us, patterns, of numbers and letters, that go hand in hand to make up a code that means something greater."

"Before watching the video, I thought that Programming wasn't very useful in peoples everyday lives. And now I think that it actually has a lot of different uses in jobs and everyday life. I didn't know that it actually had that many uses and I also didn't know that a lot of famous people learned how to code in school and that not many kids are learning how to code because some schools don't offer the course where they go to. I realize that I'm lucky for being able to take this course and be able to learn how to code."

"After watching the video, my outlook on computer science and coding has now changed. I now realize that coding is a very important thing to learn and is a very useful thing to know how to do."

"What I thought about the video is that it was shocking how many people don't know how to program a computer. It was like why don't other schools teach this it is fun and easy and I enjoy it."

"One of the big things that got me was Gabe from Valve. That is my favorite game company. so hearing him say those things just make me want to be a programmer even more. i already love doing it but hearing him say that just lit the flame."

"I feel that making something on the computer do what you want it to is the coolest thing, because it's like you have the power."

"After watching the video my opinion on computer programming has swayed towards a new direction. Before, I thought computer programming was only for people who already had a lot of knowledge in that type of subject, and if it didn't come naturally to you then it would be very difficult or next to impossible to learn. The video made me realize that anyone who has the determination can be a computer programmer or even just have the ability to code."

"This opened my eyes to a possible career in my future. After watching this video I'm rather excited to learn about code."

"I think that everybody should have to learn how to read and write code because it can be very fun and people should learn to create parameters, methods and could have fun making websites and storyboards."

"Having the ability to sit down and use a computer is one thing but to actually be able to write a program is like 'having a superpower'."

"Coding can allow me to create anything that my heart desires, which is an incredibly powerful capability. To be able to make anything, gives you free reign over your creative mind, and allows you to express your ideas in ways you never could have before. this is a powerful, and wonderful ability, and I'm glad I have the chance to do it. Each time I watch the video, I become more inspired by the speakers."

I hope this small sampling captured the wonder and amazement some of my students had from the realization that our programming class is not just some random class they take for a technology credit. Having the students write down their reactions without talking to anyone gave me valuable feedback and ideas of what I will need do to keep the flame of excitement and amazement burning for my students.

So what does this have to do with advocacy? EVERYTHING! In nine minutes I was able to reach my students at a different level with a video geared specifically at them showing what programmers do, who can do it, and the need there is for someone to do it.

Can you imagine the possibilities if you showed this video to your principal, your school board, your community, your students' parents, or anyone willing to would watch? After seeing how my students respond, I plan to incorporate this video into our CS ED Week and reach beyond my own students. Maybe I can start a CS revolution in just nine minutes -just maybe.

Stephanie Hoeppner
CSTA 9-12 Representative


Could you share the video or the link to the video.


The video is on the main page of http://code.org/. I just clicked below the video to the link for the 9 min version.


Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)