It was our 2nd celebration for the Hour of Code and although we organized the event completely different from last year, we had extraordinary results this year. First we advertised and invited all interested students to the morning event rather than limit it to the technology club. Second, the student technology club facilitated the event rather than participate in the coding. We were ecstatic that 30+ students (including girls) came an hour before school for the Hour of Code.
Here’s our basic structure of how we ran the event.
- Flyers were made, video commercials were produced for student announcements, and social media along with our school website were all used to advertise the event.
- The meeting began with refreshments and viewing the official Hour of Code video along with a brief introduction of our student technology club.
- A short student produced lesson on batch was taught.
- A second short lesson on coding to produce a simple calculator was taught. We are very fortunate that not only does the student technology club know their content but they have good communication skills with teaching the lessons. As students had questions other members of the technology club circulated around the room answering individual questions. At times it looked like an EdCamp with mini lessons and teaching going on simultaneously.
- Finally, the students were given the option to continue to code or use one of many sites provided for the event. As when you give students choice, the activity continued with varied possibilities.
- The technology club grouped participants by knowledge levels. They had beginners (the largest group), intermediate, and advanced groups. Lessons on each level were taught congruently. It was interesting to witness the students take charge of the teaching and change the groups as they discovered the need for modification.
- The student technology club took attendance and used the event to promote others to join the club. They also produced and gave out certificates at the end of the event.
In reflection everyone including the participants were extremely pleased with the Hour of Code celebration. The feeling of accomplishment was experienced on both ends with some students excited about learning how to code and another student group pleased with teaching and sharing their passion. As an educator I could not have planned a more perfect scenario then the student driven celebration. At the next technology club meeting we will reflect on the event and come up with an action plan on how to move forward with this growing enthusiasm to code. After all, isn't that the main purpose of the Hour of Code?