Whether you think the recent “Hour of Code” is a mindless PR stunt, a shameless data grab, a fake solution to a non-crisis, or an awesome way to introduce lots of folks to programming who would otherwise not be is up to you!
However, no matter your stance towards the scheme, there is no doubt that it actually made something happen in lots of schools around the world. What happens next, though, is what really matters.
With that in mind, it’s really helpful when people share in-depth reflections of what worked, and what could be done better next time (since hopefully there will be a next time.) This reflection (Hour of Code: Observations from a Middle School Classroom) is from Philip Guo, who volunteered at The Meadowbrook School, a private middle school outside of Boston, as part of the Hour of Code initiative.
Philip reflected on pair programming, how error messages helped debugging (or didn’t), the different languages used, differences between adults and youth, reflections on participation based on gender and race, and numerous other interesting musings. This article is a MUST READ if you wonder how coding can be taught as a “regular” subject.
And hopefully it will also be a model for others who ran “Hour of Code” sessions, programs, and classes with kids. We need your thoughts and ideas!
Gary and I just lead a day long workshop for teachers at The Meadowbrook School and they are ready and eager to incorporate programming and making throughout the curriculum. It’s wonderful that they are so willing to share their experiences with everyone!