Code.org

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Code.org
Code.org logo.svg
Code.org logo
Formation January 2013
Founder Hadi Partovi and Ali Partovi
Purpose Improving American computer education
CEO
Hadi Partovi
Website code.org

Code.org is a non-profit organization and eponymous website led by Hadi Partovi[1] that aims to encourage people, particularly school students in the United States, to learn computer science.[2] 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.[3] On December 9, 2013, they launched the Hour of Code 2013 nationwide to promote computer science during Computer Science Education Week until December 15, 2013.[4][5][6]

History[edit]

Code.org was launched in January 2013 by Hadi and Ali Partovi, as a non-profit focused on making computer programming more accessible. Their initial focus was on creating a database of all computer science classrooms in the United States.[7] At the time, Hadi Partovi stated that about ninety percent of US schools do not teach programming, despite it now being a “foundational field”.[8] The idea for the organization came from Hadi, who states that he thought of it on the day of Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, while mulling over his own potential legacy.[9] After this, Hadi worked full-time to bring the organization to fruition.[10][7][11]

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.[12][13][14][15] Two weeks after the launch, TechCrunch reported that the video had gone viral and received a lot of positive attention.[16] Partovi raised about $10 million for Code.org from various tech companies and tech company founders.[17] In 2014, Code.org posted a one-hour tutorial to build and customize a Flappy Bird video game using the site's block visual programming language.[18][19] Code.org has also created coding programs revolving around characters from the Disney film Frozen,[20] in addition to Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies.[21] In December 2014, Code.org held a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised over $5 million to help educate school children.[22] Overall about 100 million students have been reached by Code.org efforts.[23][24] On November 16, 2015, Microsoft announced a partnership with Code.org to launch Minecraft as a tutorial to teach kids how to code.[25]

Hour of Code[edit]

During Computer Science Education Week [26] 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.[27][28][29][30] The Hour of Code 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[31] and at the time of launch, the initiative was supported by United States President Barack Obama as well as executives from technology companies such as Microsoft and Apple Inc.[32][33] About 20 million people participated and over 600 million lines of code had been written.[34][35][36] The Hour of Code also offered participation gifts to some of the schools involved, such as a set of fifty laptops or a conference call with one a tech “luminary” like Gates or Dorsey.[37] The crowdfunding effort for Hour of Code received the highest amount of funding ever raised on Indiegogo.[38] By October 2014 about forty million students had taken the Hour of Code class,[39] and a second Hour of Code was held in December 2014.[40] That year locations for Hour of Code lessons included Apple retail stores.[41]

Curriculum efforts[edit]

The first step in the organization’s efforts as regards the curriculum of schools, was to work with US school districts to add computer programming as a class, as most US schools did not have a course code for computer sciences, in order for schools to be able to offer coding as a class. After this, the next step was to create free online teaching and learning materials for schools to use if instituting computer science classes.[42] By 2014 Code.org had launched computer courses in thirty US school districts to reach about 5% of all the students in US public schools (about two million students),[43] and by 2015 Code.org had trained about 15,000 teachers to teach computer sciences, able to reach about 600,000 new students previously unable to learn computer coding, with large percentages of those being either female or minorities.[44]

That year Code.org was partnered with about seventy of the largest US school districts (including each of the seven largest), representing several million students. The company also partnered with other computer class businesses and private entities to provide additional computer learning materials and opportunities.[45][46] As of 2015, six million students had been enrolled in Code.org curriculum classes.[47] That year Code.org partnered with College Board, in order to develop a slate of advanced placement computer classes.[48] Code.org has also trained at least 15,000 educators to teach computer sciences.[49] The main platform used in Code.org instruction is Code Studio,[50] which according to TechCrunch, “teaches the underlying concepts in programming through the manipulation of blocks of logic that, when stacked together in a particular order, move a character around a scene or draw a shape.”[51]

Legislative efforts[edit]

One of the main lobbying efforts of Code.org in state legislatures is to ensure that computer classes are not registered as foreign language classes, but as science classes, in order to ensure that more than coding is taught in computer courses.[52] Code.org also focuses specifically on female and minority students, as the organization believes these are the students most at risk of not receiving computer science education before highschool or college.[53]

Goals[edit]

According to its website, Code.org has the following goals:[3]

  • 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.
  • Increasing their global outreach by making their courses available in more than 45 languages that are used in over 180 countries.

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."[54] 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."[55]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guynn, Jessica (2013-02-26). "Silicon Valley launches campaign to get kids to code". Los Angeles Times. 
  2. ^ [1] latimes.com Want to prepare kids for the future? Teach them to code.
  3. ^ a b "About Us". Code.org. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ "69,710,062". CSEd Week. 
  5. ^ [2] nytimes.com Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding
  6. ^ "An Hour of Code’s Hadi Partovi on Changing Education and Making History". 
  7. ^ a b Olanoff, Drew (January 22, 2013). "Code.org Launches To Help Make Computer Programming Accessible To Everyone". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ NORAH O`DONNELL, MICHELLE MILLER, GAYLE KING (May 7, 2014). "Several leading names in tech are urging California Governor Jerry Brown to make a meaningful investment in computer science and education". CBS This Morning. 
  9. ^ April 28, 2014. "Steve Jobs' Death Inspired Goal To Get Kids Coding". NPR Tell Me More. 
  10. ^ Jahandad Memarian (August 21, 2015). "Hadi Partovi's American Dream: Making Coding Available to All". Huffington Post. 
  11. ^ Tickle, Glen (January 22, 2013). "Code.org Says "Hello, World" to Get Everybody Coding". Geekosystem. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "Is Code.org Too Soulless To Make an Impact?". SlashDot. February 28, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  15. ^ Winer, Dave (February 27, 2013). "Why you should learn to code". Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ Lyndsey Layton (January 15, 2014). "Successful 'Hour of Code' Computer Tutorials Prompts Effort to Change School Policies (Posted 2014-01-15 03:36:34) ; Digital Advocates Translate 'Hour of Code' into Educational Movement". The Washington Post. 
  18. ^ Suba, Randell (2014-03-02). "Code.org cashes in on Flappy Bird craze: Code your own Flappy game". Tech Times. 
  19. ^ Layton, Lyndsey (2014-02-27). "‘Flappy birthday’ to Code.org". The Washington Post. 
  20. ^ "How to get more girls to code: Use Frozen's Elsa". USA TODAY. 19 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "Quit Saying 'I'm Just Not a Math Person'". WIRED. 6 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "And Hour of Code for Every Student". Indiegogo. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Hour of Code - Program Supported by Government and Industry Leaders". techedmagazine.com. 
  24. ^ "Hour of Code to feature Star Wars: The Force Awakens". USA TODAY. 9 November 2015. 
  25. ^ "Microsoft and Code.org launch Minecraft tutorial to teach kids how to code". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  26. ^ "69,710,062". CSEd Week. 
  27. ^ "15 Million Students Participate in Hour of Code - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD". AllThingsD. 
  28. ^ "Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates Teach Code.org Online Coding Class - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD". AllThingsD. 
  29. ^ [3] Boston Globe
  30. ^ Editor. "Hour of Code Reaches Over 16 Million - What Next?". i-programmer.info. 
  31. ^ 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. 
  32. ^ Empson, Rip (December 8, 2013). "Obama, Celebrities, Politicians And Tech Co’s Come Together To Launch Coding Education Push". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  33. ^ Beres, Damon (9 December 2014). "Obama Writes His First Line Of Code". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  34. ^ 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. 
  35. ^ Jennifer Fenn Lefferts (December 29, 2013). "Preview of writing code for future". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  36. ^ Morrison, Nick (December 27, 2013). "Teach Kids How To Code And You Give Them A Skill For Life". Forbes. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  37. ^ Mike Cassidy (October 14, 2013). "Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Susan Wojcicki, Reid Hoffman and John Doerr Back Code.org Effort to Teach Computer Science in Every School in the Country". Oakland Tribune. 
  38. ^ Samantha Hurst (November 6, 2014). "Hour of Code Breaks Indiegogo Most Funded Record Thanks to Facebook’s Zuckerberg & Gates & Co.". Crowdfundraiser. 
  39. ^ Jeff Elder. "Tech Companies Hope to Introduce Coding to 100 Million Students". WSJ. 
  40. ^ "Class Action". NBC Bay Area. 
  41. ^ "Learn to code at Apple stores across the world". Telegraph.co.uk. 5 December 2014. 
  42. ^ Carrie Morgridge (2015). Every Gift Matters: How Your Passion Can Change the World. Greenleaf Book Group. p. 90. 
  43. ^ KIA KOKALITCHEVA (April 24, 2014). "Code.org gets serious, launches computer science programs in 30 public school districts". VentureBeat. 
  44. ^ Jessice Guynn (September 10, 2015). "Code.org trains 15,000 teachers in computer science". USA Today. 
  45. ^ TAYLOR SOPER (June 3, 2015). "Code.org inks 11 new partnerships to help expand computer science education". Geek Wire. 
  46. ^ Sarah Buhr. "Code.org Launches U.S. Teacher Training Program In Districts With Highest Diversity". TechCrunch. AOL. 
  47. ^ "Want your kids to learn another language? Teach them code". phys.org. 
  48. ^ "Code.org targets high school computer science". USA TODAY. 14 May 2015. 
  49. ^ "Code.org trains 15,000 teachers in computer science". USA TODAY. 10 September 2015. 
  50. ^ "Code Studio reaches a milestone, CodeNow in a Box, and Google Cloud Trace—SD Times news digest: Jan. 9, 2015". SD Times. 
  51. ^ Kyle Russell. "Code.org Launches Code Studio, A Toolset And Curriculum For Teaching Kids Programming". TechCrunch. AOL. 
  52. ^ FRANK CATALANO (February 5, 2015). "Code.org takes sides on dueling bills promoting computer science in Washington State". Geek Wire. 
  53. ^ Eliana Dockterman (November 20, 2014). "Frozen’s Anna and Elsa ‘Let It Code’ to Close the Tech Gender Gap". Time Magazine. 
  54. ^ Cassidy, Mike (December 12, 2013). "Hour of Code builds a deeper understanding of the power of computing". Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  55. ^ Dvorak, John C. (December 18, 2013). "The Hidden Agenda of Code.org". Retrieved January 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]