MmIT Committee member Antony Groves writes:
Time is relative; there may be fifty-two weeks in the calendar year but in the Social Media Year there are hundreds of Weeks, each with their own hashtag. In October we saw National Libraries Week, Open Access Week, National Work Life Week, Dyslexia Awareness Week and International OCD Awareness Week to name a few. The subject of this post will be December’s Computer Science Education Week, specifically the Hour of Code during it.
At the University of Sussex Library, as part of this week, we will be running an Hour of Code event – one of the thousand happening across the UK. The Hour of Code website explains that these events “started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics”. Here you can sign up to host an hour, which we are doing, following in the steps of Imperial College London.
Our Hour of Code event on December 4th is part of a workshop series we are running this term to help students develop their digital skills, aligned to the Jisc Digital Capabilities Framework. The first element of this framework is ‘ICT Proficiency’, described in part as “an understanding of basic concepts in computing, coding, and information processing”. We hope that the Hour of Code event will give participants the opportunity to gain this understanding.
In the same way that participants are not required to have any prior knowledge of coding, neither are those running the workshops. Information is provided on how to teach an hour and lesson plans are available for different levels of student using different types of technology, which you can browse at https://code.org/learn:
If you don’t have the time or resources for a lesson, self-led tutorials are also available, and students can use their own devices. Simply select the appropriate filters on the side of the page:
Over the summer we ran a ‘Library Code Camp’ giving staff the time and space to participate in a self-led online coding course of their choosing. Feedback was extremely positive and this approach could equally work for students. All that would be needed is a room for an hour, with someone to introduce the session and direct participants to the self-led tutorials.
If you can’t fit another hour into the first week of December or don’t feel that there’s enough time to prepare; it is possible to run your Hour of Code event at any point throughout the year with the blessing of the organisers.
Time is, after all, relative.