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Hour of Code 2016
18 Nov 2016
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Here’s some ideas for how you could use the Hour of Code to engage and excite your colleagues, children and their parents.

Many of you will be familiar with the Hour of Code and the great resources on https://code.org/. Two years ago, the Hour of Code resources provided a great introduction to programming at a time when the computing curriculum was still very new. We’ve moved on from those days, but getting all teachers to feel confident to tech the new curriculum is still a challenge in many schools.

Here’s some ideas for how you could use the Hour of Code to engage and excite your colleagues, children and their parents.

1) Organise a lunchtime session for all the staff. Ask some of your children to help, they will enjoy presenting their teachers with the certificates which can be printed from the site. Encourage those teachers to then run a session with their classes.

2) Organise a special Hour of Code for the senior leadership team and any school governors that are free. This provides a great opportunity to showcase the school in your local press, especially if you invite a local ‘celebrity’ such as the mayor or a local MP. Again, involve the children who will enjoy teaching adults and presenting the certificates.

3) Organise a ‘parents Hour of Code’, perhaps as part of a curriculum evening. Computing is still new to many parents and this will provide a fun way fo them to see what it’s all about.

4) Many teachers love to have somebody passionate about computer science to join their event. You might have a governor or parent who works in technology. If not you can look for a local volunteer through https://code.org/volunteer/local or find an inspiring Computer Science speaker to join you through Skype in the Classroom https://education.microsoft.com/hourofcode Code.org and their partners are busy encouraging digital and technology professionals in the UK to volunteer through these routes.

The Hour of Code resources are being updated all the time. This week sees the launch of a new tutorial, Minecraft Hour of Code Designer. Check it out at https://code.org/minecraft

The new activity lets students code their own Minecraft rules to control how animals and other Minecraft creatures behave. They can create a totally unique Minecraft experience, and then share it with friends or play it on their phones. 

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