For this year’s Hour of Code, Skillacademy has partnered with Clever to help high school teachers and students learn the basics of coding in a fun, interactive way. If you’re a teacher participating in Hour of Code, use the lesson plan below to help your students explore the world of coding and head over to Clever to access Skillacademy for free.
Technology has incorporated itself into our everyday lives making it important to understand how different technologies function. In order for technology to work, it needs to be told exactly what to do in a language it can understand; this is where code comes into play. Code is a set of instructions that computers can both understand and execute. Pretty much everything powered by electricity uses code. That’s a lot of programming!
The Hour of Code is a great opportunity for students to explore the world of coding as a programmer.
Planning an Hour of Code in the Classroom
It’s easy using Skillacademy in the classroom. Here’s an example timeframe of how you can spend the Hour of Code with students.
Don’t worry if students don’t stick to this exact activity schedule. Students may end up spending a majority of their time on the lesson and that’s okay! This hour is all about individual explorations of the coding experience.
To start off the Hour of Code, ask your students to think about the following question: what does a programmer do? Then, share the following video with your class:
After students finish watching the video, they’ll start going through one of our many courses. One section of a course generally consists of a lesson, a quiz, and a project.
Our Skillacademy lessons consist of several interactive exercises. A single exercise usually contains a narrative, checkpoints, and a code editor. The narrative explains a topic for students to read about. Once they finish reading the narrative, students will move onto the checkpoints which are used as a check for understanding. The checkpoints will ask students to use the code editor to perform a specific coding task related to the narrative. Once the student’s code is satisfactory, the student can move on to the next exercise.
The lesson could take anywhere from 30 minutes to the complete 60 minutes depending on how quickly the student gets through each exercise.
Our quizzes are used to test how well a learner retained the information from a lesson. Each quiz is made up of both multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions. At the end of the quiz, students receive a score about how they did with the multiple choice. Learners have the option to retake the quiz if they feel that they can improve their score.
Learners can apply their understanding of a lesson by working on a guided project. Projects on Skillacademy are made up of different tasks for a learner to complete. Since projects are open-ended, students may not be able to finish a full project within the Hour of Code. With their accounts, a student’s work is saved to the learning environment so that they can continue working on their projects at a later time.
Sometimes, the hardest part about starting the journey into coding proficiency is deciding which aspect of coding to pursue. It’s helpful for students to have an idea about which course they’re going to take before starting the Hour of Code. Let’s take a look at some of our course offerings to help you and your students decide how to spend the Hour of Code!
Learn How to Code
Does code seem like a combination of hieroglyphics and complicated puzzles? There’s a lot of misconceptions about programming that make it appear to be difficult and confusing, but the Learn How to Code course is here to show you that programming isn’t as complex as it seems! In this course, you’ll learn the building blocks of programming through engaging activities that don’t require writing any code. You can learn about variables by creating a video game terrain or discover how functions can be used to make a sandwich!
Web browsers and video games and microcontrollers, oh my! What do these technologies all have in common? The answer is C++ code. C++ is a powerful and popular programming language that you can learn how to use in our Learn C++ course. This action packed beginner-friendly course will cover outputting data, compiling and executing code, using variables for data storage, and a whole lot more! Even though it’s called C++, taking this course will be an A++ time.
Web Development: HTML
Websites are all around us! Can you count how many websites you visited today? Web development can be used to make products that support businesses, teach coding (like Skillacademy!), or as a personal medium to share with the world a little bit about ourselves. The backbone of web development comes from HTML: HyperText Markup Language. In this course, you will learn about the necessary HTML structures and elements for building a website!
Virtual Reality with A-Frame
Virtual reality may have once seemed like something out of a science fiction movie, but the ability to view and interact with an artificial 3D environment is now a real reality. In this course, you can learn about A-Frame, an open-source webframe that allows you to build virtual reality experiences in your own web browser. And, if you have a VR headset, you can even experience this course in virtual reality!
Note: This course works best if students have some basic understanding of HTML!
We all know that we can use emojis to add some pizzazz to a text, but did you know that there’s a programming language that exclusively uses emojis to develop code? We’re serious! Emojicode is a real programming language that uses emojis to create programs! In our Learn Emojicode course, you’ll learn about important programming topics like basic syntax, variables, and conditionals – all while using emojis!
Other Skillacademy Offerings
We hope this helped you in deciding how to spend your Hour of Code! Interested in turning your hour into many hours of code? Our Student Center has additional resources for students who are interested in pursuing learning how to code.
Already taking part in the Hour of Code? Consider joining us for a livestream on December 8 — Skillacademy Live: Augmented Reality for the Hour of Code. Curriculum developers Zoe and Alex K. will walk you through making your first augmented reality experience. Get more details and add a reminder to your calendar for this free event here.