For the third consecutive year, Microsoft will be conducting coding events to encourage youth to pursue computer science and get future ready.
According to a report by the World Economic Forum, 65 percent of children who enter primary school today will work in completely new jobs that do not currently exist. Hour of Code is part of Microsoft's global effort to spur students to spend an hour learning the basics of coding, starting with Computer Science Education Week (4 - 10 December, 2017).
"Computer science is about much more than learning to code. It teaches creativity, computational thinking, analytical reasoning and complex problem solving - skills that are essential for the jobs of today and tomorrow," said Dr. Daiana Beitler, Philanthropies Lead, Microsoft Asia.
Hour of Code is an opportunity for educators and institutions to let students experience the basics of coding through free tutorials conducted by partners. The movement started as a one-hour introductory activity to computer science and is designed to demystify "code".
In support, a new Minecraft tutorial, Hero's Journey, was launched in November where educators, parents and students can spend an hour to learn about core coding concepts. To date, nearly 70 million people around the world have been using Minecraft tutorials to learn the basics of coding.
The tutorial will feature a new character, Minecraft Agent, along over 10 new challenges that teach core-coding concepts like loops, debugging, and functions.
Using a visual block-based editor and Minecraft's open sandbox environment where there are minimal character limitations, students will shape their own virtual world limited only by their creativity and imagination.
Microsoft is marking Hour of Code in Asia with over 30 activities, working with local nonprofits , academic partners and especially, those from underserved communities to ensure no one is left behind.
In addition Hour of Code activities, Microsoft is developing comprehensive digital skills programs in Asia together with non-profits, policy makers and community leaders:
- "Tech Age Girl", a program runs by Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF). This initiative identifies promising youth female leaders and provides them with essential leadership and computer science skills to get future ready for the jobs of the 21st century.
- Collaborating with Vietnamese non-profit, REACH, to run coding classes for the nation's most vulnerable youth, including those with disabilities. The training involves intensive ICT training, job placement and six months of coaching to support students during their transition to employment.
- Partnering computer science educator Xu Xinyan to bring KODU - a 3D, visual programming language designed to introduce children to coding concepts in an intuitive manner - to more than 150 schools and 200 IT instructors nationwide. This initiative will reach 30,000 students through forums, training sessions, and video recordings.
For educators interested in running Hour of Code sessions in schools, resources are available here, including facilitation guides, quick tip sheet and PowerPoint slides.
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