What exactly is the "Hour of Code?"
The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code," to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities and expanding to all sorts of community efforts.
The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week, which is typically the first week of December. The Hour of Code has now become a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Langley students of all ages have participated in the Hour of Code each year since 2014. To learn more, visit https://hourofcode.com.
When is the best time to introduce a child to coding?
I believe we need to introduce students to computer science at an early age with minimal screen time. Surprisingly, there are many activities that teach students computational skills without the use of a computer or a mobile device. For example, we introduce the "Robot" game to students in the Primary School. The "Robot" game consists of one student acting as the computer and another student acting as the robot. The computer commands the robot to perform actions (step forward, hop, etc.) and the robot performs the command. This is just one of the many different ways that we introduce coding to students at The Langley School.
Further, based on my research on the gender gap in STEM fields, we need to expose girls early to the variety of job opportunities available to those with STEM-related degrees, such as computer science, to ensure we are encouraging girls to consider a future in a computer science field both during college and in the workforce.