“Hour of Code” observed in WOCSD schools

Post date: Dec 20, 2017 12:33:5 PM

Elementary and 5th grade students in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD recently experienced one hour of computer science instruction in coding referred to as an “Hour of Code”, an annual event which takes place during Computer Science Week, observed this year from December 4th through the 10th. The Hour of Code is for students totally new to coding and those at more advanced levels.

With the goal of reaching all of Wells Elementary School’s 500 plus students with an Hour of Code is WES computer teacher and tech integrator Marty Cryer. “Hour of Code is a worldwide opportunity to get kids learning about computer programing,” said Cryer. “Kids all around the world are doing this.” On December 4th, Cryer began Hour of Code with kindergarten students in the school’s computer lab where they learned beginning steps in writing code.

“We are fortunate to have Marty Cryer, our computer teacher, spend time implementing the Hour of Code, a global movement, reaching millions of students with the intent of de-mystifying coding, a computer science,” commented WES Principal April Noble. “Each of our grade levels will have a different focus and will use tools that are grade level appropriate. I have had parents and students expressing their excitement about this project!”

Working with 5th grade students at Wells Junior High School was resource teacher Beth Goodwin who facilitated several coding sessions after school and during Friday math classes that she co-teaches.

“Students came to my room at dismissal with their laptops and used the Hour of Code website (hourofcode.org) to create games with code until the late bus was called,” commented Goodwin. “Word spread and the number of students participating doubled each day. Hour of Code activities are a unique combination of problem solving, math, visual perception, and persistence and it is very gratifying to see students’ excitement using these skills.”

The value of expanding the teaching of computer coding to more and more students is becoming widely recognized as exampled in a December 13, 2017 article in USA Today about Apple Inc.’s (formerly Apple Computer) plans to partner in 2018 with Chicago’s public school system to bring coding instruction to the hundreds of thousands of students enrolled there. According to the article, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook views “coding as the most important ‘second language’ you can learn to thrive in the U.S. economy”.

Sitting before computer screens are two kindergarten students of WES teacher Cathy Fox with teacher Marty Cryer at right. They are taking first steps in learning about computer coding.

During an Hour of Code at WJHS with resource teacher Beth Goodwin are (l to r) 5th grade students Kendall Ball, Kylie Corbett and Kayla Rollins.