Darshell Silva
Make Hour of Code a lifetime passion with these free resources

Since 2013, more than 650 million students worldwide have participated in the Hour of Code, an international event designed to inspire students to learn coding through engaging activities.

The thought processes involved in coding are essential to success in our constantly changing world because they reinforce the four C’s communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity plus the ever important P: problem-solving.

Students participating in Hour of Code are programming drones to return Christmas to Whoville, creating their own dance parties, and coding Steve or Alex through an adventure in a Minecraft world. Some are using code to create adventures for Cartoon Network characters, making music, designing a Flappy game, coding their own stories, and much more.

The excitement and accomplishment students feel when successfully completing a coding challenge during the Hour of Code is inspiring. To keep that feeling going after they have completed their Hour of Code, try out the following resources in your classroom:

Code.org. This site has all you need to implement a coding curriculum in your classroom for free! From Elementary to High School, there is a course here for every age and ability level.

Scratch. This site both use a block-based platform allowing students to create amazing digital projects. The educator resources make using it a snap and it can be incorporated into any curriculum.

Made with Code. This fun site is built on the premise that the things you love, from film to fashion, are made with code so you should know how to code. It has great information about coding and engaging projects.

Kano. This is a computer kit. Your students build it and then use it to learn to code and create digital projects.

Code Academy. For students or classrooms who have caught the computing bug and need more, this site teaches them how to create websites and use various coding languages.

Hello Ruby. This site offers picture books, downloadable activities and lesson plans to teach coding to younger students.

If you feel inspired to get started with coding in your classroom, but don’t feel like you have the skills, keep in mind that Hour of Code offers activities for all ages and all skill sets. Use these resources and others to go beyond the Hour of code.  

(Photo by Allen Zaki)

Darshell Silva is a librarian at Suzanne M Hensler Quidnessett Elementary School in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, an RISTE (ISTE’s RI affiliate) board member, and an member of ISTE STEM PLN leadership team.

This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on Dec. 8, 2015.


Read ISTE's Creative Coding.
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