This December, Westwood high school students celebrated the Hour of Code by teaching every student at Westwood from K5 through fifth grade about the basic principles of coding using websites like Tynker and Scratch.

“In the next 10 years there will be 1.4 million Computer Science jobs in the US and only 400,000 people to fill those jobs. Coding is something that every person and student can do, they just need the door opened,” says Vicki Davis, Computer Science Teacher and IT Director at Westwood.

The Hour of Code ( is a nationwide celebration as part of Computer Science Education week December 9-15 in response to a national need to encourage students to understand Computer Science.

“Nationwide 90% of US schools offer no Computer Science courses and of the 10% who do, few schools make it mandatory like we do here at Westwood,” says Mrs. Davis. “Every profession is impacted by technology and working with computers is far more than word processing it is website design, blogging, social media… coding and more.”

Students participating in the Hour of Code learned about the Computer Science profession and then spent a class period with their student mentor to learn the basics of coding and to program puppies, space ships, and other objects to move and do things on the screen.

“Not only have the teachers found it to be invaluable in teaching new technology ideas, but the children truly loved the innovation and many have followed up on their own at home learning more about how to code,” says Betty Shiver. “Everyone has come back so excited about what they’ve done in the Hour of Code.”

“I think it is useful that we’re teaching the younger generation how to do things that are now vital to everyday living,” says Zachary Delk, one of the student leaders who used Scratch 2.0 to teach fourth graders how to code.

“Parents and schools everywhere can teach their kids how to code just by making apps available. I recommend Kodable as a free app on the iPad for younger kids and Hopscotch for older students,” says Davis. “Students and parents can also use the links from an article I wrote for Edutopia ( to learn more about how to bring the Hour of Code to their school. Don’t wait for December, every school in the US should take time to expose kids to coding. It is easier than ever.”

Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacheron Twitter) blogs at the award winning “Cool Cat Teacher” blog and writes online about how to use technology in the classroom. Her second book, Reinventing Writing, will be out in May from Routledge Publishing. She is a full time teacher and technology director at Westwood Schools where very student receives 2 ½ years of computer and computer science related coursework as part of the curriculum.