Computer Science Education Week

It’s Computer Science Education Week, my favorite December celebration. Since we have a lot of educators and and parents here, I wanted to pass along some links and resources. I know it’s kind of late in the week to be doing this, but I wanted to time it to coincide with Grace Hopper‘s birthday, since she is the reason for the season.

The centerpiece of CSEDWeek each year is the Hour of Code. Dozens of technology companies and organizations have contributed activities and tutorials that give learners at every level a chance to have an engaging experience writing code. The first year I did Hour of Code with students there were only about five activities to choose from. Now there are enough to fill an entire year, at least.

Programming contests and puzzles are also fun, especially for programmers with a little more experience. It’s been around since 2015, but I just discovered Advent of Code this year, and I’ve been having a blast with it. Each day from December 1st to the 25th you get a pair of story problems and a related data set, and you have to write a program that takes the data as an input and solves the problems. Somewhat drier and more mathematical but active all year round is Project Euler, which challenges you to write efficient algorithms to solve mathematical problems.

There’s plenty of good CS content on YouTube as well. I’m not going to try to make even a semi-comprehensive list; I’ll just link to Computerphile and let the algorithm take it from there.

If you’re a teacher, parent, student, programmer, or other interested party, please share in the comments your thoughts about computer science education. What works? What do we need to better? What’s your favorite Hour of Code activity? What’s your favorite programming language? Wanna link to your GitHub? Go nuts.