Unplugged at the Hour of Code launch

This week, 3rd–9th March, is the UK Hour of Code week (as well as Book Week, bad timing, anyway…) with the main aim being to get everyone – ‘ages 6–106’ – coding for an hour using the tutorials available on the site. As a teacher, I really like the approach the organisers of the Hour of Code have taken: the tutorials require almost no preparation on my part, they’re free and they aren’t going over the top in terms of their aims – you will not be a coder after your 60 minutes is up, as the initiative leader, Avid Larizadeh, makes very clear:

“It won’t make you into a coder but it will expose you to the fun of creating things and making things”

I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch event hosted by Microsoft on Monday and took along some of my very enthusiastic digital leaders to run an activity. As the only primary school invited, we decided an unplugged activity, which means one involving no computers, might be a good way to go. So, my digital leaders modelled how computer networks can sort data more quickly than one computer alone using parallelism – seriously – and all they used was a bit of tape and some numbers written on paper. This sorting network activity is just one of many from the brilliant csunplugged.org – bookmark that one now.

Being a computer network isn't easy...

Being a computer network isn’t easy…

Whether or not you go unplugged or online, I would definitely recommend doing an Hour of Code this week. I came back to school from the launch event to find some of our Year 1s doing their Hour of Code in the ICT – 6 to 106 indeed.


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