"So it's computer programming basically", said Miranda Bailey, a paralibrarian at New Emerson Elementary School.
Salsman comes from a music background with no formal computer training, though a TDSB wide competition dubbed the Hack-A-Thon propelled her and her students to learn how to code and the results have been eye-opening.
Goals of the partnership include enabling all high schools to offer at least one rigorous computer science course, funding professional learning opportunities so teachers can be prepared to teach these courses and creating a set of high-quality academic standards for K-12 computer science to guide local implementation of courses. This year's Computer Science Education Week starts today and there are over 122,000 Hour of Code global events registered to happen throughout the week.
Jean Yang, a computer scientist and technology blogger, explains that "computer science is the study of what machines can do for us". Bailey said it's important to introduce the complex world of things like coding to all students, but specifically to young girls.
It's also been recognised that teaching code provides learners with stimulating mental exercises which support cognitive development, and help students develop skills which are essential for the 21st century, such as complex problem solving skills, critical thinking skills and creativity. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that he thinks coding classes should be required in every public school, stating that "it's the language that everyone needs, and not just for the computer scientists". Using iPads and free apps like Swift Playground, students from kindergarten through to college and beyond can now learn how to code. Since 2013, it is estimated that over 100 millions students, from 180 different countries, have enrolled on Hour of Code tutorials.
Hutchinson, who has made computer science education in all grades a top priority of his administration, announced the initiative via video to a Code.org Computer Science Education Week event in San Mateo, Calif. Using littleBits' electronic building blocks the kit empowers students to create their own games.
"An hour of code can inspire children to a lifetime journey of technology and computer science", said Mohan Sekhar, senior managing director, Accenture Technology Services.
Demystify code and join us for one hour on December 6 to see what all the buzz is about.