Should Hour of Code Be Implemented as a Curriculum Plan?

Hour of Code #SenangCode

Contrary to popular belief, coding is not about communicating with computers via optic fibres. It entails connecting with humans, as well as teaching machines. Codes are compiled and converted to zeros and ones. Though there is a significant shift to online instruction, parents and educators realise that adapting and marching forward is the best thing, especially in education. 

Some parents have undoubtedly been impressed by what 5-year-olds can do with technology. Simultaneously, it has become obvious that members of society encourage a generation of specialists capable of developing whatever will supersede today’s massive digital platform. 

However, success in teaching kids to code does not depend on using the most advanced technology or programming languages. It is all about learning the necessary groundwork. Kids must be taught how to identify and navigate themselves and other entities in space, as well as how to depict such motions and connections. They must also communicate effectively and be able to resolve conflict.

What is an Hour of Code ?

Code and by augmentation, computers are driven by human intellect. It is the human cognition that is manifested in debating, learning to pose problems and debugging possibilities.

Introducing children to coding at a young age is always a great idea. They should be exposed to learning how to solve intangible complications, and create ideas. This is why Hour of Code (HOC) was initiated globally by Code.org.

Code.org is a non-profit organization founded back in 2012 with the ambition that every child in every school should be able to learn to program. Hour of Code is one of their initiatives that motivates organizations, NGO’s, and even schools to emphasize coding. The HOC modules are pre-designed and provide greater insights and recommendations which indicates if the modules are best used on a computer, smartphone or even unplugged. The program focuses on the fun and creative side of coding for children from all walks of life, and classrooms. 

Anyone, from anywhere, can host an Hour of Code event or attempt any of the courses. One can select from over 200 one-hour courses, available in over 45 languages! This is why the Hour of Code is so widely known. There are also teachers and parental guides that include objectives, training, action plans, hyperlinks, terminologies, teaching ideas, and assistance.

Inclusivity in Hour of Code

HOC also puts in a lot of effort by including the participation of students with disabilities. Students with Autism, ADHD or other learning difficulties quite often enjoy programming. The aim of HOC is to encourage students to give it a crack. Emphasizing pair programming is another excellent foundation in instilling cooperation and having students collaborate to tackle problems. Kids would learn to assist each other and rely less on their teachers. This is definitely a productive way to comprehend that computer science is a social and collaborative activity. 

As for kids with visual impairment, the Quorum tutorial is an excellent platform to get started with. Quorum by Code.org initially emerged as an extended version intended for screen reader users. It eventually evolved into a general-purpose programming language that can be accessed by anyone. If parents wish to go beyond, the Quorum team provides significant tools and content. 

Coding in Malaysian Schools

Though coding has been implemented in both National and Private schools in Malaysia since 2016, starting with Year 6, it is sad to see only 40% of schools teach computer science. Malaysia had the highest number of students participating in HOC in 2017. However, we are still left far behind. This is why iTrainKids came up with #SenangCode, a campaign aiming to empower 10,000 kids to begin their journey in coding. “Senang” means simple or easy in the Malay language which indicates how SENANG coding truly is. 

#SenangCode is a Malaysian blended version of Hour of Code. We realized that there is a significant gap between the younger generation and envisaged industrial sector breakthroughs. #SenangCode was implemented with a broader vision where kids are led to be young and wild explorers jumping into STEM and STEAM education by creating their own games. #SenangCode stands out from the crowd by not portraying colorful lines of codes, wires connected to PC’s and dark rooms. Instead, kids are exposed to less complicated lines of codes within 60 minutes

As the nation is setting foot into Digital Malaysia 5.0, we are clearly in demand of young talents with extraordinary coding skills. #SenangCode was initiated to expose kids to create and debug real-world problems that foster reasoning, evaluating, decision-making and teamwork. 

#SenangCode caters to game development, app development, and web development through coding. We at iTrainKids are making an effort to enable kids to learn coding as an approach to their metacognition. This program instills discipline, persistence, and the ability to foresee outcomes. These cognitive abilities benefit children in all spheres of life.

With our supportive trainers instilling confidence among learners, participants of #SenangCode are able to build exciting games of their imaginations! Impacting hundreds of children within a few months of its commencement, parents are already seeing a clear sense of interest among children in coding. If the same were to be implemented in schools as a curriculum, students would undoubtedly benefit from them. 

Whether it is the Hour of Code, or coding sessions at #SenangCode, they all aim to create a more future-ready generation. To sign up for a free trainer-guided #SenangCode session, visit bit.ly/itrainkids-hoc. To browse all Hour of Code self-learning classes, visit code.org

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