This past week, Mount Carmel School elementary students joined tens of millions kids from over 180 countries around the world by participating in the global Hour of Code.
Guided by students from the school’s Advance Placement Computer Science Principles, the elementary students learned basic coding concepts in hands-on lessons using iPads provided as part of the school’s 21st Century Technology initiative.
According to the organizers, Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week Advisory and Review Committees, the Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code,” to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.
The school’s director of information technology, Jonathan “J.C.” Clark, initiated the school’s effort by coding with elementary teachers. With this year’s launch, Clark was very happy with the time spent with students.
“We want no student to fall behind the technology curve,” said Clark.
His perspective is informed by over 20 years of experience in application development, network management, and computer programming and is a Linux Foundation certified engineer. Under J.C.’s leadership, the school has steadily improved its IT system over the past two years.
In launching the Hour of Code at the school, Clark emphasized that the benefits extend beyond computer technology. As he put it, “Coding concepts such as prototyping and problem abstraction are used throughout all disciplines.”
When asked about why the Hour of Code was focused on elementary students, Clark said, “It is imperative that we begin computer literacy education early.”
School president Galvin Deleon Guerrero agrees. “Coding is truly the language of the future, and all the brain research shows that languages are picked up much more easily the younger the students are.”
The Hour of Code and the school’s 21st Century Technology Initiative are also part of the school’s strategic master plan. In its commitment to the tech initiative, the school’s board of directors approved the allocation of human and financial resources to ensure that students are getting the most technologically advanced education possible on island. (PR)