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Stars Wars, Minecraft Help Annual Global Coding Event Reach Record-High Participation

Stars Wars, Minecraft Help Annual Global Coding Event Reach Record-High Participation

The Seattle-based education company Code.org is kicking off its third annual Hour of Code event as part of Computer Science Education week.

By visiting Code.org at anytime from today through the eleventh, teachers from around the world will lead their students into the process of learning code for free and without the need of any training beforehand, according to U.S. News. The event's tutorials are available in over 40 different languages, helping it to be a globally participated-in event. 

Though the organization provides volunteers through its website that can assist teachers in implementing Hour of Code in their classroom, the dozens of tutorials available for students to use require little guidance or oversight beforehand. This ease-of-use helps it work even in classrooms led by teachers who possess minimal technology skills. 

This year in particular is anticipated to be the most participated in Hour of Code event to date thanks in part to the organization’s efforts to attract students by using including Star Wars and Minecraft themed tutorials.

Code.org added the two themes due to high demand; The Seattle Times reported that Minecraft was the most requested game by Code.org students to date. 

Specifically, “[t]he ‘Minecraft' tutorial will take students through 14 different challenges that teach simple commands using a drag-and-drop format. The final level is a 'free play’ session where students can build shelter, clear the environment, or complete several other acts,” the Times said.

And the addition of Star Wars tutorials was a smart move as fans across all generations gear up for the release of a new movie later this month. Through the Star Wars-inspired tutorial, Code.org says students will "build a galaxy with code." 

As a result, more than 190,000 Hour of Code events have been scheduled in over 180 countries for this week, double the number of events scheduled last year, EdTech Magazine said.

The organization hopes that what is being called one of the world’s largest learning events will help inspire interest in computer science, especially since many schools struggle to find the resources to provide computer science classes to students.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

12/07/2015

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