Four million and counting

HOC 8

As of this December, more than 4.4m people in the UK have completed the Hour of Code (HoC) – an initiative designed to encourage people to give coding a go in a fun one hour session. Girls in Tech was proud to be a key partner of the HoC this year.

When we first heard about HoC, it was immediately clear that this was a great initiative. It is such a simple idea, but addresses a highly complex problem. To do the hour learners just go to HourOfCode.com where they can do a free, fun one hour tutorial in a range of languages – from Scratch to Javascript. At the end of the hour, they’ve made something. In the UK, it’s delivered primarily through 700 partner schools. By leveraging the schools network, the HoC addresses three key problems with technical education:

1. Teacher training is difficult

It is difficult for ICT teachers to stay abreast of every new technology. The pace of change is so great, and teachers are hard pressed for time. As a result, many ICT teachers understandably lack the expertise to teach their students to code.

2. Coding isn’t seen as a tool for creating things

Many kids – and in particular girls – don’t appreciate that programming languages are a tool for making things, just like lego. The lag time between starting a typical course and creating a product means that many learners fall part way through.

3. Students lack technical role models

Most kids don’t know anyone who works in technology, and certainly not the cutting edge of web and mobile start ups. Too many want to be doctors or lawyers because those are the only professions they know. They need access to real or online mentors and communities to inspire them to look elsewhere.

Building on an hour to create our future female tech leaders

Girls in Tech believes passionately that these are issues that need to be addressed for the long term. It is for this reason that we are launching an exciting new online learning programme: Global Classroom.

The Global Classroom will deliver exciting online courses on development to communities of girls around the world. Starting on the 10th January, the first course  will teach front end web dev and lead girls through customising their own own Tumblr blog. It’s open to any girl aged 13 – 18 and is free. To enrol just click here, or ask us any questions on Facebook or Twitter.

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