The Virgin Islands Next Generation Network, Inc. (viNGN) encourages everyone in the community, from 6 to 106, to Take the Pledge and participate in the annual “Hour of Code” during Computer Science Education Week (CS Ed Week) December 9-15, 2013.
Computer Science Education Week is organized by the Computing in the Core coalition and Code.org in recognition of the birthday of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906), a military and computing pioneer who also happened to be a woman.
The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer programming, designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn. The Hour of Code can take place any time during Computer Science Education Week – at any internet connected computer or device. There are currently more than twenty Public Computer Centers (PCCs) in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There is also an “unplugged” version for those who do not have access to a computer and/or cannot get to a PCC during that week.
In today’s world, even those who do not participate in the Information Technology (IT) fields are finding that they must have some degree of digital literacy to access retirement, employment, education and research options – to say nothing about the lively social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that provide easy ways to communicate with family, friends and business associates. The viNGN is a strong advocate of all forms of digital literacy, and by learning how to code, computer users can make greater contributions to digital and real life by becoming creators and developers of new ideas, products and services.
Existing computer science teachers have the option of creating their own Hour of Code lessons. For everyone else, self-guided tutorials will be provided, that anybody can do. Participants don’t need any prior experience or even a computer. There is a working tutorial guide online at http://csedweek.org/resource_kit/tutorial for those who would like to share the Hour of Code with people who do not plan to go online.
According to the CS Ed Week web site:
“Computer science is a foundational field for every 21st century career or field of study. Learning the basics of computer science prepares students for a world that is increasingly dominated by technology. Research shows that students who study computer science also perform better at math.
Computer science is where the jobs are. More than 50% of all jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are computing jobs. Some other stats:
- Computer science is one of the highest-paid college degree for new graduates.
- Computer programming jobs are growing at two times the national average — but there aren’t enough graduates to fill these jobs.
- Nine out of 10 K-12 schools do not offer computer programming classes.
- In 35 out of 50 states, computer science does not even count toward high school graduation.”