Students join worldwide computer coding event
Pearland Independent School District students prepared for high-demand careers in computer programming during the recent worldwide Hour of Code initiative, one of the largest learning events in history.
Held during Computer Science Education Week Dec. 3-7, this year’s technology education initiative involved more than 100 million students in more than 180 countries, in over 45 languages.
Pearland ISD campuses participating this year included all elementary schools, Sablatura and Alexander middle schools and Pearland High School.
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 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.
Students involved were encouraged to do at least one hour of coding -- a process of step-by-step commands to tell the computer what to do.
Using self-guided tutorials provided by www.hourofcode.org, Pearland ISD students created computer games, applications, web content and more.
Hour of Code reinforces problem-solving skills and shows how technology is integrated into all subject areas. In addition, it introduces students to a wide range of careers involving computer science.
“Computer science activities help develop critical thinking and computational problem-solving skills by creating and using new technologies. Our students must have these skills in order to be job-ready,” Laura Reeves, Pearland ISD assistant director of educational technology, said. “While we are in the 21st century, these skills are necessary regardless of which field of study or occupation a student determines as their path in life. Technology is all around us in everything we do. It is our responsibility as educators to provide opportunities for students to explore all of the possibilities that await them through technology,” Reeves said.
Project partners in this global grassroots campaign included Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the College Board, and more.
Students experience coding throughout the year outside Computer Science Education Week. In elementary, they participate in coding activities through lab lessons. At the secondary level, students attend robotics and computer science classes. Additionally, Technology TEKS supporting the foundation for coding are offered at all grade levels and taught in various classes with the guidance of Educational Technology Specialists.