Promoting Computer Science Through an Hour of Code

Presenters: Mary Jo Geise & Helen Schneider, The University of Findlay In February 2013, the non-profit organization code.org grabbed attention with videos featuring tech legends and rock stars sharing their passion for coding. Their goal was simple: raise awareness of the looming shortage of programmers to meet the projected job growth, and the need to motivate students to pursue computer science education. The impact was unprecedented. Just 8 months after their launch, code.org challenged the world to get 10 million people to try an “Hour of Code” during Computer Science Education Week in December 2013. The goal was reached in 3 days, and the momentum continued. Over 41 million students, parents, teachers, and others have tried the hour of code as of August 2014. Fourteen states have changed policies to include computer science in their graduation requirements, and over 1.4 million have signed petitions supporting computer science in the public school curriculum.

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Promoting Computer Science Through an Hour of Code

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Presenters: Mary Jo Geise & Helen Schneider, The University of Findlay In February 2013, the non-profit organization code.org grabbed attention with videos featuring tech legends and rock stars sharing their passion for coding. Their goal was simple: raise awareness of the looming shortage of programmers to meet the projected job growth, and the need to motivate students to pursue computer science education. The impact was unprecedented. Just 8 months after their launch, code.org challenged the world to get 10 million people to try an “Hour of Code” during Computer Science Education Week in December 2013. The goal was reached in 3 days, and the momentum continued. Over 41 million students, parents, teachers, and others have tried the hour of code as of August 2014. Fourteen states have changed policies to include computer science in their graduation requirements, and over 1.4 million have signed petitions supporting computer science in the public school curriculum.
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  1. Promoting Computer Science Through an Hour of Code

    Slide 1 - Promoting Computer Science Through an Hour of Code

    • Helen Schneider & Mary Jo Geise
    • The University of Findlay
  2. Agenda

    Slide 2 - Agenda

    • What is the Hour of Code (HOC)?
    • Why is the HOC needed?
    • What makes the HOC successful?
    • Can the momentum be sustained?
    • Our efforts at UF
    • Is this a good approach?
    • What do the experts say?
    • Beyond the HOC
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 2
  3. What is the Hour of Code?

    Slide 3 - What is the Hour of Code?

    • Effort from code.org to celebrate CS Education Week
    • Original Vision – Spring 20131
    • Bring computer programming into the mainstream dialogue
    • Raise national awareness
    • Larger Vision – Spring 20141
    • Bring computer science to every American public school district
    • From the code.org website
    • Inspire students, create fantastic courses, reach classrooms, increase diversity
    • Prepare new CS teachers, change school district curriculum, change policies to support CS, go global
    • Partovi, H. (2014). Transforming US Education with Computer Science. SIGCSE ‘14 [proceedings].
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 3
  4. Code.org Stats: Predicted Shortage of Computer Professionals

    Slide 4 - Code.org Stats: Predicted Shortage of Computer Professionals

    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 4
  5. Code.org Stats: Fewer CS Majors than 10 years ago (Shrinking % are Women)

    Slide 5 - Code.org Stats: Fewer CS Majors than 10 years ago (Shrinking % are Women)

    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 5
  6. Code.org Stats: Underrepresentation in HS

    Slide 6 - Code.org Stats: Underrepresentation in HS

    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 6
  7. What Makes the Hour of Code Successful?

    Slide 7 - What Makes the Hour of Code Successful?

    • Good marketing
    • Rock stars, cool workplaces, awe & wonder
    • Grass roots approach
    • Use of industry and educational professionals to enhance the resources
    • Tutorial style, easily led, reviewed by educators
    • Low barriers to entry
    • Equipment, time, available resources
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 7
  8. HOC Tutorial Guidelines: (Reviewed by CS Educators)

    Slide 8 - HOC Tutorial Guidelines: (Reviewed by CS Educators)

    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 8
    • Tutorials Listed Higher in 2014
    • Tutorials Listed Lower or NOT at all in 2014
    • High quality
    • Lower quality
    • Self-directed, don’t require any instruction
    • More advanced level of teaching required for success
    • Designed for beginners
    • Not for beginners
    • Designed as a roughly 1 hour activity
    • Not designed to be a roughly 1 hour activity
    • Work across many OS/device platforms, including mobile and tablets
    • Limited number of OS/device platforms; Web-based platforms: should aim to support: IE9+, the latest Chrome, Firefox, and Safari
  9. HOC Tutorial Guidelines: (Reviewed by CS Educators)

    Slide 9 - HOC Tutorial Guidelines: (Reviewed by CS Educators)

    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 9
    • Tutorials Listed Higher in 2014
    • Tutorials Listed Lower or NOT at all in 2014
    • Work across multiple languages
    • Work only in English
    • Promote learning by all groups (especially under-represented groups)
    • Have a gender-specific bent (e.g., thematically aimed primarily at boys)
    • Not pure HTML+CSS web design focus - (goal is computer science, not just HTML coding)
    • Serve as an upsell to a learning platform that charges tuition
    •  Free and easily accessible
    • Require sign up, payment, or installation
  10. Can the Momentum be Sustained?

    Slide 10 - Can the Momentum be Sustained?

    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 10
    • Code.org Goal
    • End of 2013
    • End of 2014
    • Inspire students with the Hour of Code
    • 20 million served
    • 90 million served
    • Bring our online courses to classrooms and schools (intro CS curriculum)
    • 10,000 classrooms500,000 students
    • 90,000 classrooms4,000,000 students
    • Improve diversity in CS
    • N/A
    • Online classes: 43% female, 37% African American or Hispanic;
    • HS classes: 34% female, 60% African American or Hispanic
    • Change school district curriculum
    • 10 district partners
    • 60 district partners (including the 7 largest US school districts)
  11. Slide 11

    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 11
    • Code.org Goal
    • End of 2013
    • End of 2014
    • Number of new CS teachers trained across grades K-12
    • N/A
    • 4,000
    • Policies to support CS: Graduation policy changes
    • 5 states
    • 16 states
    • (including CA, NY, FL, IL, OH)
    • Go global
    • 30 languages supported
    • 34 languages7 international partnerships
    • Team size
    • 14
    • 38
    • Total $ spent (since founding)
    • $3.2 million
    • $11.7 million
    • Can the Momentum be Sustained?
  12. Approximate Cost per Student

    Slide 12 - Approximate Cost per Student

    • Code.org Outcome
    • Approximate Cost
    • Try an Hour of Code
    • 2 cents per student
    • Study a 20 hour introductory computer science course in grades K – 8
    • $1 per student1
    • Learn an introductory computer science class in middle school
    • $10 per student1, 2
    • Learn a full-year introductory computer science class in high school
    • $20 per student1, 2
    • 1 cost: professional development of the teacher
    • 2 cost: management of the school district partnership
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 12
  13. Our Efforts with the Hour of Code

    Slide 13 - Our Efforts with the Hour of Code

    • Middle school girls at Mini-Math & Science Day
    • Post-secondary/high school computer literacy class
    • Prospective student visit day
    • Computer literacy for education majors, as alternative introduction to ~5wks of Alice in classroom
    • Coming this Spring
    • COF scholars with local Explorers post
    • Alternate assignment in the general computer literacy course
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 13
  14. HOC: Good Approach to Educational Reform?

    Slide 14 - HOC: Good Approach to Educational Reform?

    • Student Journals
    • The Before Picture
    • I think I can get the hang of it
    • Dang! That was easy!
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 14
  15. What Do the Experts Say?

    Slide 15 - What Do the Experts Say?

    • Everyone should code – like reading and math skills
    • Not everyone should code – like surgery skills
    • Journals/blogs for coders vs educators/public
    • What is the question?
    • Should everyone learn to code?
    • Should everyone understand how to code?
    • Everyone should have access to CS courses
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 15
  16. Slide 16

    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 16
    • I wish someone had done this for me to help me learn(Student Journal, week 4)
    • Beyond the Hour of Code
  17. Questions?

    Slide 17 - Questions?

    • Contact info
    • Dr. Helen Schneider schneider@findlay.edu
    • Dr. Mary Jo Geise geise@findlay.edu
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 17