Today’s blog entry on using the AASL Best Websites in your schools and libraries focuses on Code.Org (https://code.org/). The Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee categorized this dynamic site as Content Resources in 2015. Code is a non-profit educational foundation whose goal is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn how to code. Code.org provides an integrated computer science curriculum as well as professional development opportunities for educators. Readily useful for students, teachers, and librarians across K-12, this site will introduce everyone to coding and get them excited to learn more.
Code.org is probably most well known for their Hour of Code (https://hourofcode.com/us). What is Hour of Code? It is an opportunity for students to take part in coding activities with other students from around the world. This year Hour of Code will take place between December 7-13 in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Last year over 47,000 coding events took place through Hour of Code around the world. Students were learning in over 40 different languages and over 100 million young people have tried coding with Hour of Code and Code.org. Regardless of the skill level of you or your students there is something for everyone at Code.org. From beginner to advanced there is something to learn.
If you are interested in taking part in Hour of Code make sure to sign up for an Hour of Code event. Code.org has a how-to guide, information for setting everything up, curriculum guides and more. If you miss the week of Hour of Code, no worries, you can always take part in coding activities later; Code.org always has new programs available.
One of the biggest challenges in taking part in Hour of Code is online traffic. This event has become so large that many schools last year were not able to access Code.org the week of Hour of Code, it was simply too packed. If that happens know that Code.org has other activities that you can do with your students to take place offline. There are also other sites to visit for more coding activities (Some examples include: Code Monkey, Code Academy, and Tynker)
Jobs involving computers are increasing at double the rate than any others and coding is an important literacy for our students to have. Coding offers students the opportunity to communicate in a new manner. They can find answers, create new online sites and games, and share with peers. Venturing further this is the language for websites, apps, and games. This is the language for future careers, opening doors and opportunities for those students who are really interested.
Author: Heather Moorefield-Lang
Heather Moorefield-Lang is an associate professor at The University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science. To see more of Heather’s work visit her website at www.techfifteen.com, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @actinginthelib.