‘Computer Science is imagination; ideas flowing out of minds.’ This thought reminds us of Albert Einstein’s saying- “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, imagination embraces the entire world, stimulation progress, giving birth to evolution.” An extraordinary amalgamation oh imagination, knowledge, and learning is the Computer Science Education Week, an initiative to promote the computer science education within high school students through extensive learning resources.
What is Computer Science Education Week?
Computer science education week is an “annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity in computer science education, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field. This week is held in recognition of the birthday of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906), who invented the first compiler and coined the term “bug” (an error in a program) after removing an actual moth from the computer in 1947” states the CSEdWeek.
This year, CSEdWeek runs from December 6, 2021, to December 12, 2021, with the vision of the impact of computer science on everyday lives, school subjects, and careers. The Computer Science Education Week is a great initiative since the value of technology in our lives has recklessly hastened since the pandemic hit the world. With Computer Science becoming an increasingly important discipline of study impacting almost every realm of education, events like these are a great way to propagate the inclusion of coding, programming, and engineering within the High School Curriculum across schools.
History and Development of the Initiative
The birth anniversary (09-12-1906) of computer scientist Grace Hopper is celebrated as ‘CSEdWeek’ in the week that includes 9th December. The first computing Education Week was focused on policies, but in 2010 it switched to focus on teachers, parents, and pupils alongside industrial organisations. Since then, the week has consisted of a various range of worldwide events and activities promoting and raising awareness about the importance of computing.
In 2013, Hadi Partovi, founder, and CEO of Code.org started the initiative called the “Hour of Code” in which over 15 million students across 167 countries participated. In 2015, the “Hour of Code” reached a milestone of 100 million hours, making Computer Science Education Week the largest education campaign in history of educational campaigns. Thanks to its widespread popularity and participation, the “Hour of Code” continues to be an event that still generates a lot of attention,which shall be discussed more extensively in the article.
While the annual event is dedicated to inspiring children to learn computer science, over the course of the last few years, the purpose of the event has transformed to stimulate equity and lawfulness in computer science education and also to celebrate the benefaction of students, teachers and practitioners. Computer science education nurtures problem-solving skills and creativity and this fact is well proved by the overarching impact of the ‘Hour of Code’: since Code.org was launched in 2013, over 100 million students have participated in 200,000 code.org events worldwide.
How can you be a part of it?
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. Learning never stops, especially when it is about something as intriguing as Computer Science!
Firstly, settle in and celebrate. For students, celebrate Computer Science teachers and scholars, no words can describe how grateful we are for the people who make a difference in our lives. So, it is imperative that we help them by showing your gratitude and it sure will become a reason for their smile. For teachers, it’s important we celebrate students’ success through badges and certificates for successful completion of ‘Hour of Code’.
Secondly, Involve. Involve others, and yourself. Advocate and promote Computer Science education amongst your peers, family and community members! It is also important to recognise that Computer science doesn’t have to end with the Hour of Code. Students and teachers can initiate Hackathons, Coding Competitions, and Quizzes to demystify and make Computer Science learning more accessible.
Google’s ‘Hour of Code’
Thirdly, for this year’s Computer Science Education Week, Google is guiding students from all backgrounds discover the joy of computing. The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify \”code\”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. The week particularly puts emphasis on all the areas of recent life where computing makes an impression, henceforth, adding to its significance especially in our Covid lives, including, but not limited to Medicine, Smartphone technology, and Entertainment Forms like TV shows, films, and computer games
The Hour of Code offers one hour tutorials in over 45 distinct dialects
Educators can bring ‘Hour of Code’ activities from Google’s Computer Science programs into their classrooms, or join live stream events with Googlers who have Computer Science backgrounds. This will not only help students know about computers but will also help them get streamlined into their respective career desires. The goal of the Hour of Code is not to fabricate learning tutorials for students to become an expert computer scientist in one hour. One hour is only enough to learn that computer science is fun and creative, that it is accessible at all ages, for all students, regardless of background, and this is exactly what the ‘Hour of Code’ and the Computer Science Education Week enthusiastically promotes.