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Posted by : Anita UnMuted December 08, 2014

Wow! It's that time of year again, and this household is excited. It's time for Hour of Code! Yay!

What is Hour of Code? It's an initiative that was organized by Code.org in 2013 as a way to introduce computer science to kids (and adults) and get them coding. Code.org says, "The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics."  The Hour of Code site states, "The Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. An unprecedented coalition of partners have come together to support the Hour of Code, too — including Microsoft, Apple,
Amazon, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the College Board."

Hour of Code may be geared towards the kids, but it is for anyone who is interested in learning how all of this computer and app stuff works. Have you ever wanted to build your own web page? Did you ever wish you could create "an app for that"? Have you thought about building a computer program for something like time management or record keeping? Then, you've thought about programming, or more specifically, coding.

Coding has taken over my family's life. Earlier this year, I added coding to our homeschool curriculum, and the change is evident. We think in code. We talk in code. We LOVE code. If I could just figure out a way to knit in code, I'd be set. Coding has given my daughter another creative outlet. Instead of creating only via arts and crafts, or raising huge buildings with blocks, now she's creating with code, too.

Historically, Computer Programming courses have been lacking or nonexistent in schools across the country and the world. Unfortunately, girls and many underprivileged or underrepresented children of color have not been exposed to coding. This grassroots effort is blazing the way to change all of that. Many schools, organizations, groups, and families across the world are involved in this movement; and you can be involved, too.

Many different programming languages make up the world of code. There's HTML, CSS, Java, JavaScript, JQuery, Python, SQL, and others. Participating in Hour of Code can open up your whole world.  You and your child will have the opportunity to learn some of the basics of these languages, and you'll quickly discover where your interests lie.

If you're a teacher, Code.org has resources that explain how you can bring computer programming or the Hour of Code to your students. If you're a parent or a student, THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!

Interested in learning more? Visit HourOfCode.com where you'll find out everything you need to know, and you can locate events at participating schools or groups near you.

If you or your child uses educational sites such as Khan Academy, Code.org, and others, you can participate in the Hour of Code directly from those sites. Don't have a computer? Working on a tablet? No problem. Code.org has options available.

Anyone can host an Hour of Code anytime, but this year, the campaign runs Monday, December 8th through Sunday, December 14th. If you can't participate during that time, do it later. The important thing is to give it a try, and you'll always be able to participate in the programs. 
One more thing... Don't be surprised if you notice your child's grades improving across the board. Coding does that. So, LET'S GET CODING!

Thanks for reading and your comments are welcome! 

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If you would like to learn more about computing and coding, and maybe even brush up on other subjects, visit Khan Academy. You won't be sorry. 
If you're interested in tackling various programming languages, try CodeCademy (not academy) or W3Schools. These two sites operate a little differently from each other, but both are great. 
Happy Coding!  

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