“Anybody can learn code” was the tagline for Code.org (an organization hoping to reach 100 million students around the world, interested in computer science activities). So to join this little piece of history, Decatur Makers opened its unheated space, set up a tent with light and space heaters, and interested folks joined our fearless Hour of Code coordinator, Julie Aiken (a self-described non-techie), who was curious about this whole coding thing.
For an hour each day (12:00-1:00), every day, the week of December 8-12, Julie and several curious makers huddled around a table inside the tent, shared computers and tried to stay warm while experimenting with code. Day one, Code.org kicked off with a video introduction from President Obama and the makers began their learning journey. Day 2, Julie coordinated a Skype session with a self-taught computer coder whom the group plied with questions which were patiently and robustly answered. Days 3 and 4 continued with more coding and learning.
As an early child educator, Julie was also trying to find a way that this week of computer science might be used with the youngest Decatur Makers. When word that the space, “might be without electricity on Friday”, she found her answer through Thinkersmith and Kodable. They all had activities that don’t use computers!
While access to the internet is being discussed as a human rights issue (and we do believe this is true), there are a few ways to continue learning without access all of the time. The conversations started during Hour of Code are important for how we shape the future. Yes, anybody can learn code and everybody needs to be included.