Reviewed by Becky Palmer-Scott, Editor
Hour of Code, found at code.org/learn, is part of a free browser-based computer science curriculum for grades K-8. It is sponsored by code.org, a nonprofit founded in 2013 dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available to more schools and increasing participation by women and under-represented students of color.
Hour of Code teaches basic computer programming in a series of increasingly difficult puzzles where players direct an avatar through a maze. Engaging and accessible, the game deftly guides players from writing a simple two-step program into using repeat loops and if/then/else statements. With videos by luminaries such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, and avatars from Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies, it brings a glamour factor to programming.
To promote the product in schools, code.org is holding a CS Education Week from December 8 – 14, 2014. Participants will be entered into a drawing to win $10,000 worth of technology and video chats with special guests.
Using drag-and-drop code blocks, the building process looks nearly identical to Scratch, the programming language designed for kids by MIT. Where Scratch gives users more creative freedom, Hour of Code provides better instruction.
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