Code: The Great Equalizer

you-were-made-to-shineOne of the things I love best about Hour of Code is the opportunity it gives for students to shine. This is especially true of students who are not seen as academically strong by their peers. Many students come to school already behind their peers in reading and other academic subjects due to their situation outside of school. While we teachers do our best to help them accelerate learning and succeed, many feel behind in learning from the start. Almost no one has parents who teach them computer code, so Hour of Code is the first opportunity some students have to start on an equal footing with everybody else. This is especially true of English Language Learners. Coding is not English. It is its own language, a language that very comfortingly follows the same rules every time. Even I, as a native English speaker with multiple degrees, sometimes like to take refuge  in the straightforward logical beauty of computer code. Your friends, family, and students may not be logical and the same input may not get you the same output with humans, but your friend, the computer, will always do exactly what you tell it, which means no problem in coding is unsolvable. My greatest joy, during Hour of Code, is the student who is unexpectedly brilliant at coding. Usually, the student herself has no idea that they have this talent. That is why I think code is the great equalizer.

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