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Learn coding in an hour: celebrate the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web from 3 - 9 March with the UK Hour of Code!

(24 Posts)
KateHMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Mar-14 11:42:27

Some of the UK’s most influential women in technology and business are spearheading an ambitious campaign to get the nation coding. Hour of Code UK aims to prove that coding isn't only for the tech savvy and will show that anyone can enjoy learning this valuable skill.

The Hour of Code teaches the basics of computer programming for free in 60 minutes and is aimed at all from 6 - 106, through simple tutorials featuring well-known characters. The Hour of Code has already been a huge success in the US: close to 20 million students gave coding a try in December 2013. 1.1 million people in the UK have already given it a go.

The UK campaign will take place between 3rd – 9th March to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by the UK’s ultimate coder, Tim Berners-Lee.

You can find out more about how to do your Hour of Code here.

Fellow MNHQers recently took a one-day coding lesson and found it surprisingly enlightening. One MNHQer summed it up nicely: "If there's more diversity in problem-solving, more diverse problems will be solved."

Let us know how you get on!

MNHQ thanks

BlackeyedSusan Mon 03-Mar-14 22:54:17

ah did you not learn to code on the bbc basic? (hides zimmer)

my general response to coding is "yes dear" I used to live with a software engineer. grin

Oakmaiden Mon 03-Mar-14 22:56:15

If your children want to get involved there is a great set of tutorials for Scratch, html and Python through Code Club...

Just saying wink

Hulababy Mon 03-Mar-14 23:06:33

I teach computing at an infant school and have arranged for every child in school from eyfs to Y2 to do tier hour of code this week, obviously at varying degrees:

Eyfs - Purple Mash's 2Go on computer; Beebot and Kodable on iPads; Beebots offline

y1/2 - using the Hour of code site to do the angry birds tutorial

The tutorials are really straight forward.

I will then teach Y2 this half term and next half term to learnto code using Scratch. We will start with basics and build up to make an etch a sketch style game and, for those who really get it, a pacman style game.

I love the new computing curriculum with all it's coding links - it's what I did at school and I used to teach secondary computer science up to gcse and A level, so loving the chance to do it with 6&7 year olds.

ouryve Thu 06-Mar-14 12:50:50

I love doing BBC Basic, BlackeyedSusan. I do occasionally dabble. I've done some OU stuff in the past and started a Coursera course on Processing, last year. Great fun, but I had to drop the course due to some rather pressing real life issues.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 06-Mar-14 15:38:41

Can anyone explain why it is important to learn coding? Is it just for writing computer programs?

Kveta Thu 06-Mar-14 16:33:00

Hulababy, can you recommend any eyfs suitable software on android? DH is a developer/architect and desperate to introduce our 4yo to coding, but he is obviously not really able to explain C# etc to him yet, so is a bit at a loss! thank you smile

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 06-Mar-14 16:44:43

My students did hour of code earlier this year. Loved it.

Hulababy Thu 06-Mar-14 16:53:14

Kveta - I am afraid I don't really know much about Android platform apps. I'll have a quick scout though.

Have taken 120 children aged 4-7y through their Hour of Code so far this week. More to go tomorrow.

BananaChoccyPancake Thu 06-Mar-14 16:58:17

"Can anyone explain why it is important to learn coding? Is it just for writing computer programs?"

That's a bit like saying: "Can anyone explain why it is important to learn French? Is it just for if you're going to live in France?"

Learning French helps you to understand some elements of popular culture, communicate on holiday, not make an idiot of yourself when ordering in a French restaurant, and it exercises your mind at the same time - keeps the brain cells ticking over and wakes up bits of grey matter that otherwise wouldn't get much use.

In the same vein, learning coding helps you to understand some elements of popular culture, communicate intelligently with other people who know coding (i.e. anyone under a certain age), practice your logical thinking skills, and problem solving, and get a buzz out of being creative. More practically, you'll also be in a position to help your DCs learn coding (now part of the national curriculum) and that will help them do well at school and find work in the digital economy of the future.

FairyPenguin Thu 06-Mar-14 19:32:55

I am a coder and have seen a massive growth in demand for people with my skills in the last decade, with no sign of it slowing down.

Just one example: companies hold a lot more data about us these days (think Tesco Clubcard, Amazon, online shopping, etc) and want to use this information to understand customer behaviour for marketing campaigns and to then track their success. They will need to use coders firstly to set up the websites or supermarket checkouts to gather the data, then they get the data collected into the right format for the marketing people to analyse, then produce the lists identifying the customers to market to, and lastly they write the code needed to monitor the success of campaigns. These are all slightly different types of coding but you would need the same basic set of skills, ie logical thinking, problem solving.

This is just one small example of how companies use coders, there are many many more!

FairyPenguin Thu 06-Mar-14 19:43:08

Another example: in drug trials, coders are needed to set up how the data is recorded for all the things that are measured in patients. They have to set it up so that all possible outcomes can be recorded consistently so that the data can then be analysed fairly. They then look after the data and produce the reports and analysis required by the pharmaceutical company and therefore are a critical role in determining whether the drug is effective or not.

FairyPenguin Thu 06-Mar-14 19:45:19

As well as the different types of coders needed for creating and maintaining websites, apps, making sure things are secure, which is probably more along the lines of what most people think coders do!

CalamitouslyWrong Thu 06-Mar-14 21:13:17

Kveta: there's something called LightBot on android (and iOS) for children aged 4+. I've just downloaded the app to let 4y.o. DS2 have a go.

slightlyglitterstained Thu 06-Mar-14 21:59:01

TBH - not everyone needs to learn to code well, but trying it out for an hour, or for longer, should help to demystify it a bit.

You don't have to be a supergenius, and neither do you have to start from the cradle. You just need to be prepared to think through stuff logically, do a bit of problem solving, and most importantly be willing to persist with something where you don't already know everything and be willing to make mistakes and learn from them.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 07-Mar-14 12:55:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kveta Fri 07-Mar-14 12:58:48

thanks Calamitous, I will look that up for him to play with!

BananaChoccyPancake Fri 07-Mar-14 13:13:13

"What's best - laptop?"

It's a website, so anything should do. Nothing to download.

mammmamia Fri 07-Mar-14 16:39:45

Thanks, this is really interesting, I've been wondering for a while how to learn about coding. I think it's really imoportant to keep learning and to keep up with the skills our DC will need.

Jux Fri 07-Mar-14 19:25:22

I was a programmer in the early 70s on mainframes using COBOL and various other similar and equally vile languages grin. My dad programmed on punched cards and tape.

I know it's very different and I have been left far behind. I'll have a look and give it a go.

thornrose Fri 07-Mar-14 19:35:27

The children in my class (TA) did their hour of coding today. Put it this way, we learned together and I was a very enthusiastic student grin

TeaMakesItAllPossible Sat 08-Mar-14 08:26:08

Marking my place because I fancy doing this with my DC. Thanks

BananaChoccyPancake Sat 08-Mar-14 10:23:33

My 7-yo did it yesterday and thought it was lots of fun. He asked to do some more this morning.

HaveYouTriedARewardChart Sat 08-Mar-14 11:13:17

Thanks. Definitely keen to try out one of the tutorials with ds, 6. I never pursued my interest in IT at the sensible time in my life (20s) and now a somewhat unskilled 34 year old trying to do OU modules in computing with 2 ds, a part time job and dc3 on the way!

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