Hour of codecode.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting computer science education, has unveiled a new campaign it calls “Hour of Code” targeting 10 million students in the United States. From December 9-15, 2013, Code.org is asking schools, teachers, and parents for their help in motivating students to look into what lies ahead with computer programming.
What is an “Hour of Code”? It’s challenging educators to teach their students one-hour lessons designed to “demystify ‘code’” and show that anyone can do it. The campaign is joined by companies and industry professionals like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman, and Twitter chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.
Using its own platform, Code.org will provide online tutorials, which students can complete across any platform. Each lesson has been curated through the help of educational groups and industry companies.
But it’s not just an educational activity that you can pick up anytime — it’s also a competition. Code.org is awarding prizes to classrooms that participate, including 10GB of free storage from Dropbox for the first 100,000 educators that “host an Hour of Code for their classroom or club”.
Additionally, 50 schools who participate will win a full class-set of computers with one winner in each state. 50 classrooms will win a group video conference with a “technology titan” such as Gates, Dorsey, and Google’s Susan Wojcicki. Students that take follow-up courses online could also win other prizes like Skype credits or iTunes gift cards.
Code.org’s co-founder and CEO Hadi Partovi says:
Thanks to the amazing support of new partners and donors, the Hour of Code campaign will launch our long-term mission to give every student the opportunity to learn computer science. This isn’t just about the tremendous job opportunities in software — every 21st century child can benefit from learning this foundational field.At Automattic’s office in San Francisco, Partovi announced the launch of the campaign. He was joined on stage by Microsoft’s Brad Smith, HVF’s and PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Google’s Maggie Johnson, California State Superintendent Tom Torklakson, and the University of Washington’s Helene Martin.