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No Secret Code

For many educators throughout the world, last week was known as the "Hour of Code." The Hour of Code event was a global initiative started by code.org. Their purpose was to bring coding and computer science into as many classrooms as possible. Code.org did a fantastic job at getting resources out to educators and providing the students great content to work with.

What exactly is coding and why it is so important are great questions. Coding is a way of talking with computers to have them do what you want. Coding is expanding so rapidly into so many fields, as almost everything is computer based. It is quickly making its way into business, mathematics, and medicine that its importance cannot be ignored. Coding requires problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills. It is so much more than just sitting at a computer by yourself and typing. There is also a desperate need for females in the field of coding, as it is currently male-dominated.

So all the above stuff is wonderful, but do the students buy-in? Absolutely. My students participated in the Hour of Code last week and were hooked immediately. They went through challenging levels at their pace and were forced to solve complicated, systematic problems. At times, other students jumped in to help them when some got stuck, at other times students asked other students for help, and at other times they wanted to work through it themselves to find the answer. The great thing for me to see, was that no matter which way they solved their problems, they were actively engaged in their own learning without any prompting from me. They have taken ownership of their learning. They are becoming the independent learners we want them to be. The only thing is, is for that to happen, the teacher must be willing to let that happen.

The Hour of Code was an event that I would not have wanted to miss. It was an opportunity for students to realize the potential they have in a field that is suited for them, yet not taught in many schools yet. Having my administrators give me the approval and support with the idea, allowed my students to experience the chance to possibly glimpse into their futures. It is no secret, coding can be the ticket for many to make their lives what they dream them to be.

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