Code.org

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Code.org is a non-profit organization and eponymous website led by brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi that aims to encourage people, particularly school students in the United States, to learn to code.[1] The website includes free coding lessons, and the initiative also targets schools in an attempt to encourage them to include more computer science classes in the curriculum.[2] On December 9, 2013, they launched the Hour of Code 2013 challenge nationwide to promote computer science during computer science week until December 15, 2013.[3] Major tech companies and their founders, including Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, have put up about $10 million for Code.org.[4]


Goals[edit]

According to its website, Code.org has the following goals:[2]

  • Bringing Computer Science classes to every K-12 school in the United States, especially in urban and rural neighborhoods.
  • Demonstrating the successful use of online curriculum in public school classrooms
  • Changing policies in all 50 states to categorize C.S. as part of the math/science "core" curriculum
  • Harnessing the collective power of the tech community to celebrate and grow C.S. education worldwide
  • Increasing the representation of women and students of color in the field of Computer Science.

History[edit]

Launch and first video release[edit]

Code.org was launched in January 2013 by Hadi and Ali Partovi, with the goal of making programming accessible to everyone. Their initial focus was on creating a database of all computer science classrooms in the United States.[5] The launch was covered in a number of technology publications online, including TechCrunch,and Geekosystem.[5][6] In late February 2013, a month after launch, they released a video featuring Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey and other programmers and entrepreneurs on the importance of learning to code. This video was covered in a number of news sources.[7][8][9][10] Two weeks after the launch, TechCrunch reported that the video had been a "blockbuster hit".[11]

Hour of Code challenge[edit]

During Computer Science Education Week [12] from December 9 to December 15, 2013, Code.org launched the "Hour of Code Challenge" on its website to teach computer science to school students, enticing them to complete short programming tutorials.[13] [14] [15] [16] The challenge involved getting people to write short snippets of code to achieve pre-specified goals using Blockly, a visual programming language of a similar flavor as Logo. The initiative had been announced about two months in advance.[17] At the time of launch, the initiative was supported by then United States President Barack Obama as well as leaders of many technology companies such as Microsoft and Apple Inc..[18] About two weeks later, it was announced that over 20 million people had participated and over 600 million lines of code had been written as part of the challenge.[19][20][21]

Coding Flappy Bird[edit]

Code.org designed a class on how to learn the code involved in the video game Flappy Bird.[22] The lesson touches on all the steps in coding the game, with the intent that at the end, a user will have entirely coded Flappy Bird.[23] The lesson is designed to take approximately ten minutes.

Reception[edit]

Writing for San Jose Mercury News, Mike Cassidy praised Code.org and the Hour of Code, writing: "A publicity stunt is what we need."[24]

John Dvorak was critical of the Hour of Code in an article for PC Magazine. Dvorak wrote: "I see it as a ploy to sell more computers in schools."[25]

Earlier, Dave Winer had responded to Code.org's first video launch by writing: "I don't like the way people at code.org are pitching it. And I don't like who is doing the pitching, and who isn't. Out of the 83 people they quote, I doubt if many of them have written code recently, and most of them have never done it, and have no idea what they're talking about."[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] latimes.com Want to prepare kids for the future? Teach them to code.
  2. ^ a b "About Us". Code.org. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Computer Science Education Week"
  4. ^ [2] nytimes.com Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding
  5. ^ a b Olanoff, Drew (January 22, 2013). "Code.org Launches To Help Make Computer Programming Accessible To Everyone". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ Tickle, Glen (January 22, 2013). "Code.org Says "Hello, World" to Get Everybody Coding". Geekosystem. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ Taylor, Colleen (February 26, 2013). "Watch Zuck, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, & Others In Short Film To Inspire Kids To Learn How To Code". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ Nieva, Richard (February 26, 2013). "Code.org has launched a meaningful attempt at education reform. Let’s hope the star-power helps". PandoDaily. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Is Code.org Too Soulless To Make an Impact?". SlashDot. February 28, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Winer, Dave (February 27, 2013). "Why you should learn to code". Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ Taylor, Colleen (March 13, 2013). "How Code.org’s ‘Learn To Code’ Video Starring Zuck And Gates Surpassed 12M Views In 2 Weeks". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  12. ^ http://csedweek.org/
  13. ^ http://allthingsd.com/20131213/15-million-students-learned-to-program-this-week-thanks-to-hour-of-code/
  14. ^ http://allthingsd.com/20131014/hack-attack-mark-zuckerberg-and-bill-gates-teach-hour-of-code-online-computer-science-class/
  15. ^ [3] Boston Globe
  16. ^ http://www.i-programmer.info/news/150-training-a-education/6722-hour-of-code-reaches-over-16-million-what-next.html
  17. ^ Yeung, Ken (October 14, 2013). "Code.org unveils ‘Hour of Code’ campaign encouraging K-12 students to pick up computer programming". The Next Web. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  18. ^ Empson, Rip (December 8, 2013). "Obama, Celebrities, Politicians And Tech Co’s Come Together To Launch Coding Education Push". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  19. ^ Empson, Rip (December 26, 2013). "Code.org: 2 Weeks And 600M+ Lines Of Code Later, 20M Students Have Learned An "Hour Of Code"". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  20. ^ Jennifer Fenn Lefferts (December 29, 2013). "Preview of writing code for future". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  21. ^ Morrison, Nick (December 27, 2013). "Teach Kids How To Code And You Give Them A Skill For Life". Forbes. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  22. ^ [4] Code your own version of Flappy Bird
  23. ^ [5] The Verge
  24. ^ Cassidy, Mike (December 12, 2013). "Hour of Code builds a deeper understanding of the power of computing". Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  25. ^ Dvorak, John C. (December 18, 2013). "The Hidden Agenda of Code.org". Retrieved January 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]