LCS Hour of Code Blog

Computers are magic, mystical, malevolent creatures that react completely randomly–taming them requires computer wizards. Everyone knows that.
  
Wrong!  If you speak to computers in their language, they respond predictably and reliably. The secret is learning to speak that language, also known as computer coding (or “writing code” or simply “coding.”) Because the ability to understand computer logic and write code is becoming an essential 21st century skill, the organization Hour of Code  has a goal of every student world-wide getting a one hour intro to computer coding, with the hope that the students are inspired to continue studying it.
Your Mission: This site lists many activities that you can sample to learn a bit about computer logic and coding. Dig around and see what looks interesting. You are welcome to try a little bit of everything, or to spend your whole time focused on one activity. This page will be available after our official event, so you’re welcome to come back often to experiment with other tools. And please, share this. Your friends, family, and students are welcome to use this site as a portal to the world of coding!

Want Some Help Deciding Where To Start?

If you're thinking, "I don't know what I'm doing, so this better be step by step and FUN," start here.

Are you good with technology? Or you want a bit more challenge? Start here.

Time to level up. Take it to 11! I want a challenge.

Beginning Coding Games   will get you started.  These feature easy to follow directions and a clear goal.  You can switch to a different game any time you want. Finishing one module is not required.

You will find lots of options by scrolling down this page. The Dance Party starts simple, but you can get much more complex if you want–and this year, more high level coding options have been added! The Coding with Anna and Elsa, the characters from Frozen also starts easy, but as you go through further into the game, it gets tricky. You can also search for coding games and activities that hit your fancy at https://hourofcode.com/us/learn.  Filter by a variety of features or look through to try a smorgasbord approach. For video game fans, Code Combat may keep you busy for hours! Go to https://codecombat.com/play/game-dev-hoc?hour_of_code=true to start the fun.

Learning coding–or almost any computer-based skill–is possible online. Self-motivated learners can develop professional level skills using free, step by step, user-friendly online resources. Start at https://www.learnpython.org/  or https://www.codecademy.com/learn/learn-python (Code Academy also has classes that cost, but their free levels offer are a great start!). Khan Academy is a terrific free resource for all sorts of learning, and that includes their JavaScript lessons. Go to https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer-programming/programming/intro-to-programming/a/learning-programming-on-khan-academy to use JS to draw a happy face, then progress to drawing a waving snowman. **All of those resources offer the option of creating a free account so you can save your progress and continue learning even after Hour of Code has ended.

The Rest Of This Page Introduces You To Activities For Exploring Computer Coding.

You're Invited To Experiment With As Many Of Them As You Want

The official Hour of Code site introduces coding with a variety of different activities. You can use the characters from Disney’s “Frozen” to code a snowflake as they skate across the ice, create an Angry Birds-style game called Flappy Bird, code in the Star Wars universe, or even use code to draw pictures with HoC’s Artist. Go to https://code.org/hourofcode/overview for the complete list of activities. Hour of Code has partnered with over 100 companies to provide an incredible array of learning activities. For the most complete list of the official Hour of Code programs this year, click https://hourofcode.com/us/learn .  The activities on this page can be sorted using a variety of filters, including age, knowledge level, and available technology. Everyone can find something interesting on this page!

Minecraft is for everyone!  Four different Minecraft activities lead you through the basics of computer logic. These will work on computers or tablets, and you can even download a version of one of these activities for playing when you are offline. Good for beginners as well as more advanced users.

Code your own dance party! Program your dancers to hop, drop, and dab to a pop song by one of today’s stars. There are thirteen levels to this activity, and it uses simple drag and drop programming blocks–a perfect introduction for beginners, with step by step instructions and help.

Create a game using Disney characters

This ten level activity uses drag and drop blocks to teach the rudiments of movement, action and storytelling the Disney way. Excellent for beginners!

Grok Learning features 13 activities focused on introducing 3rd -12th graders on the Python computer language. The visually humorous step – by- step approach is user-friendly, but slightly more complex than some of the options on this page. Click https://groklearning.com/hoc/ to the learning games they offer.

Tynker offers 40 different activities for Hour of Code with a variety of stages within each activity, ranging from a Barbie Pet Vet game that is designed for pre-school children to programming challenges designed for students with a bit of experience with coding languages. A handy chart at the bottom of the page can guide adults in figuring out what activities would be most appropriate for there students (or children, grandchildren, or anyone else!) Click https://www.tynker.com/hour-of-code/ to see the options!

Code with Anna and Elsa This starts easily, and even young kids will have fun making snowflakes in ice, but the logic required to create the advanced designs even challenges adults. Code with Anna and Elsa is habit-forming! Click here to get started: https://hourofcode.com/frzn

Google’s Santa Tracker has a coding game, too! Click here to play in Santa’s Village:  

Google’s offering for Hour of Code lets you create a story using coding blocks. The introduction video walks you through the process, but it will probably be a bit too challenging for the youngest students unless they are working with an adult. The end result, though, can be amusing and amazing! Click https://csfirst.withgoogle.com/c/cs-first/en/an-unusual-discovery/an-unusual-discovery/an-unusual-discovery.html to make An Unusual Discovery!