After Hour of Code – What’s Next?

Do you want to learn how to code?

Many of you participated in “Hour of Code” during Computer Science Education Week December 9-15. Thousands of Maine students participated in computer science in this huge national effort! So what’s next?

We want everyone to know about the “Beyond the Hour of Code” section at Code.org, which includes prizes for students and teachers who participate in the 20-hour online K-8 Intro to Computer Science. The tutorials are online.

Whether you’re a student, parent, or teacher in a classroom or an afterschool club, check out Code.org’s 20-hour online course. Students can get started and sign up here.

MMSA’s Reach Center also supported the Hour of Code initiative in Maine and sent 1-GB USB wristbands to middle and high school students who participated in Hour of Code and then shared with us what they learned.

Also, students can find more ways to create with technology on Maine’s Project>Login website, or investigate Maine programs that fit their interests in our STEM Resource Bank.

Hour of Code tutorials are still available online too! Anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator.

What Next?

We’ll also continue sharing resources that go beyond an hour of code. For example, this is an excellent entry into the world of Scratch – a creative learning community developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (http://scratch.mit.edu/). With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, provided free of charge. We intend to have a Maine Scratch day as part of the national effort next May and are currently seeking partners for this.

Stay tuned for more information about the first Maine Scratch Day event…to be held May 17, 2014 as part of the national Scratch Day festivities!

Another possibility for building from Hour of Code is Alice (http://www.alice.org/index.php) – “an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming.”

Computer science can go in many directions: programming robots for industry or fun, creating 3-D or other animation videos, developing apps for mobile devices, and even teaching others how computers work.

And it all began with an hour of code.

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