Saturday, February 20, 2016

Keep on Making: Reflections on How the Hour of Code Changed the Library Culture

     This past fall in honor of Computer Science Education Week, I held an Hour of Code celebration.  It was well attended about 40 students and 1 teacher participant.  I have intended to blog about what I learned from this experience for several weeks,  but it is only now that I have started to see the more profound, long term impacts this event has had on the culture in my library.

    I promoted the Hour of Code event this year with the green screen in the Media Makerspace room.  The green screen gets used frequently by teachers and students for video projects, but this was the first time I had used it to create a still production.  In keeping with the theme of Star Wars, I borrowed some action figures from a colleague, located some Star Wars font online for the background and combined the two to post Made the Code Be With You to promote the event around the school.

     The Hour of Code event lead to more collaboration with our EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) program.  They were running a social media campaign during Computer Science Education Week to have students post selfies with their completed Hour of Code certificates with #LJHShourofcode.  The library supported this campaign by giving students time during their lunch period on Friday of that week to complete the Hour of Code and post selfies to social media showing their successes.

     Although the Hour of Code was not the first special event that the library has held, it has further shaped this culture.  Even the next class period after the event, students were already asking if they could come back and "do more coding" during their lunchtimes.  This has led to a steady stream of students who now come to the library at lunch to continue building their coding skills.  The Library Classroom has evolved into a drop-in coding station. Students here are coding the Finch Robots we have on loan this year at Lakeside.

 Hosting the Hour of Code was also a leadership opportunity for my student library aides. They had gone through the Hour of Code earlier in the fall and had the opportunity to serve as "code Jedis" for their "code apprentice" peers during the event.  I first heard about the power of student led technology learning events from my friend Stony Evans, but this was my first experience with it.  It was such a success that I look forward to holding another student led technology event soon!

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