The Hour of Code objective is to infuse instructional technology with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), resources so that students could get a glimpse of how SMART Developers work. Via a live link, the developers introduced themselves to the students, and then incorporated engaging activities like Codecombat. The interactive game was utilized to teach students about levels of coding. A special Hour of Code Activity was also held at United Middle School to promote STEAM Curriculum among young female students. The objective of the initiative is to encourage female students to participate in coding. According to the Department of Commerce, STEAM related jobs have grown three times faster than non-STEAM related jobs over the last 10 years.
Diana Ortiz, UISD Program Coordinator for Instructional Technologies said that SMART technology will continue to influence the way all students learn in the classroom. “It is evident that this shift in education is here to stay, and we are blessed that UISD has made our district one of the largest SMART IFP Deployments in the United States. This deployment is changing teaching and learning as we speak, and the ultimate beneficiaries are the students of our district” said Ortiz. The Hour of Code events were coordinated with assistance from Judith Garcia, Director for Instructional Technology, and Instructional Technologies Coordinators Diana Ortiz and Christine Romanelli.