Hour of Code keeps HISD students globally competitive

Hour of Code is a global initiative that calls for students to do at least one hour of coding during Computer Science Education Week, which runs from Dec. 7 to 13. Basically, coding is typing step-by-step commands into the computer that tell it what you want it to do. When coding, also known as programming, students will use language that computers understand to create computer games, applications, web content, and much more.

“When I was coding I started to think, and I started to learn more,” said Natalia Posadas, a fourth-grader at Herrera Elementary School. “It’s really inspiring, and it’s really fun to do.”

Coding teaches HISD students how to create technology, not just use it. It requires critical thinking skills and prepares them for high-wage, high-demand 21st century jobs, as well as equips them with the tools of formal logic and creativity.

“Coding is functional thinking,” said technology instructor James Wigfall, who teaches at Forest Brook Middle School. “It is requiring students to analyze problems and pull out the … correct coding to achieve their goals. They are actually computing math, using inequalities and expressions, and they are solving equations in the process. They are looking at what they have to do and coming up with a game plan … it’s a lot of critical thinking.”

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This is the second year of a three-year partnership with Code.org, a non-profit launched in 2013 to expand student access to computer science. HISD’s goal is to integrate coding and computer science into all grade levels – Pre-K through 12 – and keep HISD students globally competitive.

For more information about coding at HISD, see the #HISDecoded page. For a one-page overview of coding, see this page (.pdf).