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Moving Beyond the Hour of Code

posted Jan 11, 2016, 6:09 AM by Melinda Waffle   [ updated Sep 9, 2016, 7:12 AM ]

Submitted by Kerry Guiliano,

Monroe County ISD - REMC 19E


Close to 200,000 Hour of Code events took place during the week of December 7th as students in 180 countries participated throughout the week in one hour of code. It is quite an accomplishment, but it leaves teachers, schools and districts asking, “Where do we go from here?”


With a limited budget and limited time, implementing coding into the classroom can seem like a tough endeavor, but with free resources like the Computer Science First Program, it can not only be attainable but valuable to your district to implement!

The Michigan Film & Digital Media Office has partnered with Google to create the Computer Science First program. It’s goals, taken directly from the program, are to:

  • Increase confidence when using computers

  • Instill courage to try new things

  • Grow perseverance when tackling difficult problems

  • Provide a sense of belonging in technology for underrepresented students

  • Demonstrate the impact that CS has in careers and communities


A teacher or community volunteer would run the program as an enrichment before or after school, or during lunch. The great part is that no Computer Science experience is necessary! All materials are video-based and there are eight different themes that are focused on and can be tailored to your group.. over 80 hours of coding instruction for FREE!


As we all know, technology & internet access is a huge benefit in school, but sometimes it’s not always reliable. A great “extra” in the program is that there are contingency plans in place in case the technology fails for the day, so your club sponsors are not “stuck” if that happens. Also, if you don’t have headphones, this program will provide a pair for each student in the club.


To get started, head to www.cs-first.com/start-club to sign up. You’ll need computer and internet access for each student, and, most importantly, student participants! Finally, the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office is asking you fill out pages 6-8 and return it to them if you plan to participate.


The CS First Program is an wonderful opportunity for Michigan students and will quickly escalate your student’s knowledge base of computer science and the programming process. If ever there were a time to sign up for a free coding club, this would be it!


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