LIMA — Kylee Griffin, 13, an eighth-grader at West Middle School, is learning to code this week, along with thousands of others across the country as part of Computer Science Education Week, which runs through Friday.
“It’s actually quite interesting because you’ve got to learn coding for most of the games that are newer so like if you don’t know what you’re doing with coding, there’s more chance that you need to learn it because if you want to do something with computers when you get older you got to learn how to code,” said Griffin.
All of this week, Lima schools has been participating in the National Hour of Code.
“Hour of Code is an international initiative to try and make it so that every student gets at least one hour of experience with basic computer coding and logic, said Jeannine Jordan, technology and integration coach for Lima schools.
About everybody in the tech world is sponsoring coding activities online where students can get started.
“They start with pre-school type things. You don’t have to read. There’s one where you feed a puppy by making it go two steps to some pretty intricate things, and it also highlights all of the free resources that there are online for learning to code. You can go from knowing nothing to professional level coding using free resources, and we’ve put together a website that’s part of Lima City Schools’ website that makes those resources [available] so people can find them quickly. There are a huge variety of activities — most of them feel like games,” said Jordan.
For many students at West, it was their first time coding.
“I think it’s kind of cool. When you get older it can help you out,” said Sundra Branch.
“I’m kind of liking it. I’m just learning it, how to do it,” said Thairan Mills.
So why is it important to learn code?
“Probably the most important is, coding is logic. It’s basic step by step. This is how technology works, and if you understand a little bit about how technology thinks, it becomes that much easier to learn new technology. Everybody is going to be learning new technology the rest of their lives now,” said Jordan.
Knowing technology will almost be a prerequisite for future careers.
“The number of jobs in the future that are going involve comfort with technology, if not actually the ability to manipulate how it works, that’s astronomical, and if we want our students to be ready for the future, they’re going to have to be comfortable saying ‘OK, I don’t know this computer language, but I know these other ways that computers work, so I bet I can learn it.’ The constant growth mindset has to be part of everybody’s lives now,” added Jordan.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409