Hour of Code is something that has become a real phenomenon in schools. Taking the word "coding" and making it just part of the vocabulary. I hear kids talking about coding and making games all the time. What's really exciting is that code.org has really added some amazing stuff to beef up the hour of code this year. Including StarWars and Minecraft themes!
The new themes are really creative in how they incorporate the elements of the franchises they use. The Minecraft edition has students break and collect blocks, place torches, and build things just like the super popular game. The StarWars theme really brings out the characters, and lets you program that cool little droid, BB-8, that everyone loves. Both themes are sure to capture the attention of boys and girls everywhere.
What I really like is that it's clear code.org is trying to add some differentiation to the experience. They've added new language, and even the ability to on the fly swap drag and drop blocks for typing commands. This is a big deal as it allows for students who want to push themselves a little bit farther, or for students who are interested in what it would be like to type commands without being totally at the mercy of syntax errors.
I'm really excited to kick this off this year, and I can't wait to see the reactions on kids faces.
Instructional Technology Coach