Our world is evolving rapidly and technology is the tool that drives this change. It offers solutions through services that help us communicate with our loved ones at the push of a button. We also perform tasks with speed and efficiency like financial transactions, from the comfort of our couch. We can find information on a subject for school, or solutions to any problem just by searching the web.  And how about online shopping? In fact, the use of computers and smartphones is so widespread today that most of us may not even think about how they work or what else is possible with those tools. 

People who know how to program a computer are already in high demand. But how can someone learn this skill? Thankfully, there is a vast amount of websites through which people are learning how to code. One of the best free options is the platform created by Hadi Partovi called Hour of Code.

Students working on a computer
Students working on a computer

Through coding practice students unleash their creativity, become more focused and persistent, they learn how to work together to solve a problem, and they experience the satisfaction of having built something that their friends can use and enjoy.

Ms. Jones, a Middle School teacher at Plato Academy Seminole, not only loves to teach but she is also excited about technology. That’s why she took part in the “Hour of Code” initiative to help introduce computer programming to her students.

In her own words: “…this was a semester-long project in which I taught the students how to create and share content via their own web pages. First, students brainstormed the content they wanted to share. I asked them to think of a personal interest, something they felt like they knew a lot about, or something they wanted to share with others. Next, I taught them how to structure and style their pages using HTML and CSS. Through this project, the students practiced valuable programming skills such as debugging and problem-solving. At the end of the unit, students presented their finished websites to the class. My favorite part about the whole project was getting to know more about my students’ personal interests, hobbies, and passions.”

Some of the skills that were taught through this project were: 

  • how to communicate both the content and structure of a website to a computer.
  • how to create ordered and unordered lists by using the associated <ul>, <ol>, and <li> HTML tags
  • how to add images to web pages, and how to give proper attribution when doing so.
  • the importance of comments, whitespace, and indentation as tools for making web pages easier to read.
  • how to link together all the previous pages into one project, and create navigation bars for each page
  • the basic syntax for CSS rule-sets
  • how to specify custom colors using RGB (red, green, blue) values
  • how to add more style such different backgrounds, borders, and fonts

The activities engaged almost all the students at the school under the guidance of Ms. Capra (1st grade), Ms. Clark (2nd grade), Ms. Vance, Ms. Hagenbuch, Ms. Levine, Ms. Cunnea, Ms. Hummer (4th-5th grades), and Ms. Sikes for 6th grade.

Here are some projects that were created this week:

Dance Party
Created by Phillipe R.
(7th Grade)

Dance Party
Created by Audrey D.
(2nd Grade)

Dance Party
Created by Leah Y.
(2nd Grade)

Dance Party
Created by Joy
(2nd Grade)

Hour of code project

Animate a Name
Created by Faith
(5th Grade)