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Hour of Code promotes skills for tech, life

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It’s no secret that computer science is changing every industry on the planet. Every 21st century student will need strong technology skills and should have the opportunity to learn how to create technology.

Enter Hour of Code. First held in 2012, this school year it was December 5-11. With the help of Instructional Technology Coach Bailey Nett, students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Schumann Elementary and Orono Intermediate were coding on iPads and Chromebooks in their classrooms.

“Hopefully, we’ll spark interest in developing their skills even further,” said Penny Pease, the district’s technology integration coordinator. It’s an attractive career with technology jobs being the top source of wages in the United States. Plus, there are more than 500,000 computing jobs currently open nationwide.

Code is the foundation of computer science. Coding is a computer language that involves a sequence of words and symbols developed to complete a task or solve a problem. During Hour of Code activities, students learn basic java script.

In addition to augmenting students’ technology expertise, coding holds many other benefits. Teachers observed that coding helps build a stamina for problem solving: students make mistakes along the way, but know the answer is within reach if they keep trying. They also noted that the activities fostered collaboration as students were happy to help each other out and share their ideas and the projects they created.

Hour of Code is a global movement reaching over 100 million students in nearly 200 countries. It is sponsored by code.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Its vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science just like other subjects.

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