Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs Raises $12 Million from Bill Gates and Other Backers Raises $12 Million from Bill Gates and Other Backers

In addition to games and activities, this week is also dedicated to furthering a variety of important edtech initiatives, such as promoting women's presence in the computer science workforce and increasing students' opportunities to study coding. Through online competitions, students and teachers participating in Computer Science Education Week can win the chance to video chat directly with public figures like the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry or the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson. This year, Pariss Chandler, who learned to code over just eight weeks and recently landed a developer position at a local organization, will return to Amigos Elementary, the bilingual elementary school she attended in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to lead an Hour of Code and inspire the next generation to learn computer science skills essential in today's job market. As a result, calls for state governors and legislators to find ways to introduce more students to computer science at a young age have increased - particularly from the tech industry.

The "Hour of Code", which coincides with Computer Science Week, takes place during the first week of December each year. "In the arts curriculum, what you can do with coding through music and visual arts is stunning".

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, created to demystify computer code, and show that anybody can learn the basics, according to the program website. Using iPads and free apps like Swift Playground, students from kindergarten through to college and beyond can now learn how to code.

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Why should kids learn how to code, anyway?

Microsoft will host two Hour of Code events with Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS).

"If only 1 percent of the girls actively learning on continued past high school, they'd outnumber the gender gap in university CS", Partovi said.

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The initiative is part of an attempt to get underrepresented groups of people to try computer coding, according to Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Harrisonburg City Schools, Stacey Penrod.

"Computer science education provides foundational learning in computational thinking that enables students to develop and apply critical thinking skills, demonstrate imagination and creativity, practice collaboration, exhibit leadership, and employ problem-solving skills", the proclamation reads.

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