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What Are You Doing for Hour of Code?

That was the question I was asked in an email from a colleague who teaches in a neighboring district. I had thought about it but not in depth. It had been mentioned on Twitter and I had planned to hold two half-hour lunch periods of introduction to computer science parties in the lab during Computer Science Education week. My computer science students assist with walking the students through a simple coding exercise. I felt if I held it after school I would not have many students participate. However, over the last few days I have been thinking more about it. What if I contacted my principal and the PTA president and got them on board? How about California Teachers Association (CTA) or my local teachers association or even the National Education Association (NEA)? Maybe I could contact the local assemblywoman or the local community college computer science chair and get their support. My head started to spin.

For those of you who have not heard of Hour of Code, I should explain what is going on. It is part of Computer Science Education Week http://csedweek.org/ and is a combined effort by Code.org and csedweek.org. On the webpage it is explained as: "It's a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify 'code' and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator."

When you visit the website click the "Learn More" button which will take you to a page of resources. I plan to print the letter to give to my principal when I have my meeting to discuss what we can do as a school. I will also use their other resources when I contact CTA and NEA.

The day after the email from my colleague, I participated in a Google Hangout with my local CSTA Chapter President. I posed the question to him about what the chapter could do for CS Ed Week and Hour of Code. He suggested that we add a blog to the chapter website and invite members to write about their plans for this event.

I am beginning to formulate my plans. It is not too early to start. What are you doing for CS Ed Week and Hour of Code? We need to work together to help each other plan successful events to grow our programs.

Myra Deister
CSTA At-Large Representative

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