‘Hour of Code’ Preview & How DMA is Celebrating HOC

By Phill Powell

On Tuesday, Marcus Duvoisin is headed back to elementary school. The Assistant Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Digital Media Academy will visit Bishop Elementary School in Sunnyvale, Calif. He’s scheduled to address three groups of 5th graders, for a period of not less than 3 hours.

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Here’s DMA’s Marcus Duvoisin spreading the word about tech at 2015’s SXSWedu conference…

While some might tremble at the task, Marcus seems to feed off the energy. Perhaps it’s because he does this type of thing several times a year.

Or maybe it’s because he’ll be speaking about a subject that he’s passionate about: technology and next week’s “Hour of Code” event to spark interest in computer science (CS).

We decided to ask…

At next week’s event, we know you’re going to be covering Processing (which is also taught in DMA’s kids programming camps and teen Intro to Java courses). What can students expect to happen at your event?
I’ll be introducing kids to programming. The point of the event is to spark their interest in programming and get them coding themselves and growing an interest in programming.

And why do you think this has to happen now?
We need to do this because there are so many unfilled computer-based jobs out there. And Processing is a nice first language to use. You get immediate results.

So what specifically will attendees be doing?
Kids will build little animations that interact with their mouse movements. They’ll also be working with a Paint-like program, where they grab a paintbrush and get to color. By the end of the program, they’ll be able to re-create the old Paint program.

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…and here he is demonstrating 3D printing to students of Palo Alto’s The Girls’ Middle School…

And what do you hope the kids will get out of your presentation?
Basically an interest in programming. Kids often think, “Oh, it’s too boring,” or “It’s too hard for me.” And it’s really not. Anyone can get into it. So breaking down that barrier for them, and showing them the different things that can be done with programming.

CS: BY THE NUMBERS

Code.org recently presented some astounding statistics about CS:

  • HOC a Hit! So far, some 147,603,861 students have taken the Hour of Code challenge, with 48 percent being female.
  • A Desire of Parents Parents want their kids to study CS: approx. 90 percent. At the same time, only 1 in 4 schools teach CS.
  • The CS Jobs Gap Not as in a shortage of jobs, as in a shortage of qualified CS workers. Last year, some 604,689 CS jobs came open. At the same time, only 38,175 students graduated with CS degrees. Code.org and the “Hour of Code” seek to correct that imbalance and fill that gap.

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…and finally at San Francisco’s Autodesk Gallery, again helping visitors experience technology.

ANOTHER PROGRAMMING OPTION: DMA ONLINE

There’s another way to effectively study programming, and it’s tailor-made for older learners with rigid daytime schedules. We’re talking about adult programming courses offered through DMA Online, the school’s portal for online-based education, with a new roster of courses now being finalized.

At DMA, we’ve got you covered, even if you’re a teen just starting out, and needing one of DMA intro Java courses.

At Digital Media Academy, every week of our summer camp season is a celebration of CS…and every waking hour is the hour of code!