Have you taken yourself back, lately, to your teens and wondered how different they may have been had you had the technology available to you that teens have today? I’ve always been interested in computers, but more so social media and how we interact and grow as a community because of it. My coding in school was limited to our Computer Science class, where we input code to make a Christmas Tree image scroll across the screen! Meanwhile, my son at age 11 can understand and input code that is still beyond me (I keep telling him I’ll hire him to code my blog eventually!)
I embrace his interest in computers and coding, and yes that means also embracing Minecraft, mods, and whatever else he excitedly tells me about. He even attended two STEM based coding camps at the University of Regina over the summer, and can’t wait to go back again this year. If he wants to eat it all up, I’m happy to feed that interest! I’m also thrilled to see my oldest daughter, at age 8, learning through Minecraft and taking an interest in what her brother is doing. I’d love to see more girls in science and technology careers and will continue to encourage her interest as well.
To celebrate Computer Science Education Week earlier this month, Microsoft Canada launched the #CodeGeneration campaign, encouraging students to learn to code. With free online coding challenges, in-store “Hour of Code” sessions and a partnership with Code.org offering students and educators a Minecraft coding tutorial, Microsoft is showing students that anyone can learn to code, and the power to create technology is at our fingertips.
Let’s break down the awesomeness here. Free online coding tutorials are offered at code.org giving teachers and parents resources to show kids how easy it is to learn to code, all with characters that appeal to them. Yes, of course there’s a Minecraft Hour of Code on the site, but I was happy to see Code With Anna and Elsa (I KNOW, how awesome is that?!)
On Sunday, December 13th, students across Canada will join #CodeGeneration with Minecraft-themed coding challenges hosted by Microsoft Canada in honour of Hour of Code. Parents or students that are interested in participating can register online at http://www.microsoft.ca/
- Who – Students between the ages of 13 and 18
- What – In-store “Hour of Code” sessions
- When – Sunday, December 13 2015 (all local time zones)
- Session 1: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- Session 2: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
- Session 3: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Where – Microsoft Stores nationwide:
- Calgary, Chinook Centre
- Edmonton, West Edmonton Mall
- Burnaby, Metropolis at Metrotown
- Vancouver, Pacific Centre
- Mississauga, Square One Shopping Centre
- Toronto, Eaton Centre
- Toronto, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
Whether you make it to an in-store session or take advantage of the tutorials offered at code.org, I encourage you to read more about #CodeGeneration and bring it to your school’s attention, and of course utilize it at home over the holiday break. The video tutorials are really helpful. Who knows, maybe this mom will learn a thing or two a well beyond coding those scrolling Christmas trees like I did in grade 8.