Kuwaiti stu­dents learn cod­ing to en­hance crit­i­cal think­ing skills

Hour of Code ses­sions de­liv­ered across se­lect schools in Kuwait

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

KUWAIT: Microsoft Corp and Code.org un­veiled the Minecraft Hour of Code De­signer, a cod­ing tutorial for stu­dents and ed­u­ca­tors cre­ated for Hour of Code, an an­nual, global cam­paign held dur­ing Com­puter Science Ed­u­ca­tion Week. The new web-based tutorial - avail­able for free at http://code.org/minecraft - en­ables be­gin­ner coders to cre­ate and share their own sim­ple “Minecraft” game, and is de­signed to em­power any­one to be­gin learn­ing the prob­lem-solv­ing and crit­i­cal think­ing skills re­quired in to­day’s tech-fu­elled world.

The Microsoft Kuwait team or­ga­nized Hour of Code ses­sions in two schools; Abraq Khai­tan Se­condary School for Girls and Microsoft Show­case School; Ibn Al Ameed Se­condary School , where Microsoft’s Ex­pert Ed­u­ca­tor Ah­mad Ashour de­liv­ered train­ing to over 50 stu­dents on the im­por­tant el­e­ments of cod­ing. Ad­di­tion­ally, a com­mu­nity led event driven by Bar­camp also took place in Al-Sha­heed Park, at­tended by over 30 par­tic­i­pants from dif­fer­ent schools across Kuwait. Stu­dents of all ages par­tic­i­pated in the event, learn­ing Hour of Code tech­niques and also re­ceived cer­tifi­cates upon com­ple­tion of the train­ing.

Cre­ated by “Minecraft” game de­sign­ers at Mo­jang and Microsoft, in part­ner­ship with Code.org, the fun and easy-to-learn one-hour ex­pe­ri­ence builds on the suc­cess of last year’s record-break­ing “Minecraft” tutorial, which reached more than 30 mil­lion stu­dents world­wide. With the goal of in­spir­ing mil­lions more to try cod­ing for the first time - and to keep go­ing on their jour­ney of learn­ing com­puter science - as of the launch, the tutorial is avail­able in 10 lan­guages, in­clud­ing Span­ish. It is sched­uled to be avail­able in 50 lan­guages from Dec. 5 on­wards.

With the im­mense pop­u­lar­ity of “Minecraft” around the world, Microsoft and Code.org be­lieve the tutorial has the po­ten­tial to reach peo­ple of all ages and like­ness. Women and girls al­ready com­pose nearly half of the game’s global fan base. The tutorial also un­der­scores Microsoft’s com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing all young peo­ple have the op­por­tu­nity to learn com­puter science, an eco­nomic and so­cial im­per­a­tive in this era of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, and Microsoft aims to reach stu­dents most likely to be among those with­out ac­cess, par­tic­u­larly girls and mi­nori­ties.

“We are part­ner­ing with Code.org again this year to make com­puter science more ac­ces­si­ble to mil­lions of youth around the world with ‘Minecraft’ and Hour of Code,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “I am in­spired by the ‘Minecraft’ gen­er­a­tion who view them­selves not as play­ers of a game, but as cre­ators of the new worlds they dream up. This is the gen­er­a­tion that will imag­ine, build and cre­ate our fu­ture, and to­gether we can equip them with the com­pu­ta­tional think­ing and prob­lem-solv­ing skills to seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties ahead.”

De­signed for ages 6 and up, the Minecraft Hour of Code De­signer teaches stu­dents to cre­ate their own “Minecraft” ex­pe­ri­ence where they can pro­gram the rules. They can make chick­ens that drop gold, or zom­bies that run away in­stead of at­tack­ing. Along the way, stu­dents use Code.org’s fa­mil­iar drag-and-drop cod­ing in­ter­face to learn com­puter science con­cepts such as ob­ject-ori­ented pro­gram­ming, event han­dlers and re­peat loops. Play­ers face a se­ries of 12 chal­lenges, cul­mi­nat­ing in cre­at­ing their own sim­ple game, which they can share with friends.

“Code.org was founded with the vi­sion that ev­ery stu­dent in ev­ery school should have the op­por­tu­nity to learn com­puter science - not only be­cause it’s foun­da­tional for any ca­reer, but be­cause stu­dents love it,” said Hadi Par­tovi, co­founder and CEO, Code.org. “‘Minecraft’ is a spe­cial game that ap­peals to a di­verse global com­mu­nity. We’re de­lighted to have the chance to teach stu­dents cod­ing with the fun fa­mil­iar­ity of ‘Minecraft,’ to en­gage stu­dents of all back­grounds and skill lev­els.”

In sup­port of Code.org and the global Hour of Code cam­paign, Microsoft will also lead thou­sands of youth cod­ing events in more than 60 coun­tries. Dur­ing Com­puter Science Ed­u­ca­tion Week, this in­cludes hun­dreds of free work­shops hosted by Microsoft Stores across the globe. Stu­dents can re­serve a spot in a store work­shop by vis­it­ing microsoft.com/youthsparkpro­grams and also visit their lo­cal Microsoft Store to learn more.

In ad­di­tion to the lat­est tutorial and cod­ing events, Microsoft has also been re­ceiv­ing rave re­views from ed­u­ca­tors on the newly launched “Minecraft: Ed­u­ca­tion Edi­tion” ti­tle, a fully fea­tured ti­tle that brings the magic of “Minecraft” to the class­room for more im­mer­sive, longterm les­son plans.

Code.org is a 501c3 pub­lic non-profit ded­i­cated to ex­pand­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in com­puter science and in­creas­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion by women and un­der­rep­re­sented stu­dents of color. Its vi­sion is that ev­ery stu­dent in ev­ery school should have the op­por­tu­nity to learn com­puter pro­gram­ming. Code.org is the or­ga­nizer of the an­nual Hour of Code cam­paign, which has en­gaged 10 per­cent of all K-12 stu­dents in the world, and the lead­ing provider of cur­ricu­lum for K-12 com­puter science in all of the largest school dis­tricts in the United States. Code.org is sup­ported by phi­lan­thropic do­na­tions from cor­po­ra­tions, foun­da­tions, and gen­er­ous in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing Microsoft, Face­book, the In­fosys Foun­da­tion, Google, Omid­yar Net­work, Ballmer Fam­ily Giv­ing, and oth­ers.

Microsoft (Nas­daq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the lead­ing plat­form and pro­duc­tiv­ity com­pany for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mis­sion is to em­power ev­ery per­son and ev­ery or­ga­ni­za­tion on the planet to achieve more. . Microsoft Gulf opened its Dubai-based head­quar­ters in 1991. Microsoft Gulf to­day over­sees Microsoft ac­tiv­i­ties in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the UAE and Ye­men.

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