60 students and everyone is learning? Only with the Hour of Code


What would it take for you to keep 60 students interested and on task in a classroom for an entire hour? Some kind of magic or trickery? Maybe a bribe?

Nope, all you need is an Hour of Code lesson plan, and you’ll be teaching computer programming to a classroom of engaged students who love every minute of the class.

You don’t even need computers. The Hour of Code web resources include lesson plans for classrooms with or without technology.

I was lucky enough to volunteer in a large media center classroom at the Panther Creek High School in Cary, NC, and I had at least as much fun as the students.

Half of the students in my session were part of a Computer Programming I class that had experience with code.org lesson plans. The other half were part of a Microsoft Excel Class that had never tried code.org lessons before. All of the students were great and eager to learn. They were very adept at programming, and those who hadn’t done code.org before caught on very quickly.

I was only one of the more than 100 SAS employee volunteers who spread out to schools in the area to teach an Hour of Code for Computer Science Education Week. Check out the tweets below to see what some of my colleagues had to say about the event:

One of my colleagues, Brandy Mann, shared this quote, paraphrased from a fifth grade teacher who now plans to look for creative ways to incorporate coding into her class every day:

You see those two students right there sitting beside each other? They have sat there all year. This is the most they have ever talked to each other. And they are helping and encouraging each other.

In the media center at Panther Creek High School, when my class was done with the lesson, I challenged the students to teach their own teachers how to do the code.org lesson now that they had learned it. And I challenge you, our blog readers, to try the lessons yourselves, or teach them to a few children in your life. The Hour of Code movement may only last a week, but the materials are available all year long.


About Author

Keith Collins

Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Keith is responsible for leading the Research and Development, Information Services and Technical Support Divisions at SAS. He fosters close working relationships with marketing and sales to ensure that SAS technologies are aligned with customer needs and market demand. He has been instrumental in leading SAS' evolution as a provider of industry-specific solutions that deliver the benefits of powerful analytic technologies into the hands of users. A graduate of North Carolina State University in computer science, Keith is a devoted supporter of the university. He is the founding member of the strategic advisory board of the department of computer science.

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