Hour of Code 2017 is December 4-10! This year Villa Maria is celebrating Hour of Code with a whole school digital breakout! Girls at each grade level (Kindergarten through Eighth) are coding to solve puzzles in search of clues to “breakout.” BreakoutEDU, created by Mark Hammons and James Sanders, involves students trying to use clues to crack multiple locks in a set amount of time. A digital breakout uses the same concept of solving a series of clues to unlock locks as the physical breakout does. However, with a digital breakout, there is no need for the equipment. All that is necessary is a device connected to the Internet.
“The girls have been coding for years, and we have been doing hour of code since 2014, so we are looking at this week as an opportunity for them to use the concepts they have learned and apply them in a fun and unique way,” said Lisa Callan, Director of Instructional Technology. “Mrs. Bellopede, the girls’ STEM Teacher, has worked very hard to make it fun, engaging, and relatable for the girls and their teachers who are also joining in the fun.”
Each grade is working on different games and locks to decode based on their instructional level. Girls are using their knowledge of coding, programming, logic and computer science and applying these skills in the digital breakout.
On Wednesday, December 6, middle school students will join girls across the nation in a live webinar, “Girls Who Code,” with the developers of Seesaw (link seesaw.me). Seesaw is a cloud-based digital portfolio where our students upload their work throughout the year. “Villa has been using Seesaw for the past three years and we are excited to meet the women who work and develop this forward-thinking product with which our students have become so familiar,” said Mrs. Callan. The students will be participating live with this webinar. Last year, students participated in a live Skype session with the developers of Hopscotch as part of Villa’s ongoing efforts to bring real-life experiences of women in technology to our Villa girls.
On Friday morning, students and teachers will gather for an assembly to celebrate the week and solve the final puzzle. Prizes will be given out to both students and teachers.
Villa Maria integrates technology to inspire girls to collaborate, innovate and prepare for their educational journey as well as a world not yet realized. As Villa educates a new generation of learners, new strategies are eagerly embraced to offer an academic environment that skillfully prepares students for a complex, global society.