Code.org's Hour of Code campaign has officially begun.
The website, a non-profit company hoping to make computer science education available in more US schools, has called upon every K-12 student in the US to join the "Hour of Code" campaign during Computer Science Education Week from 9 to 15 December.
The Hour of Code campaign aims to "demystify computer science for students" by providing introductory tutorials that can be completed online or via a smartphone. The campaign also challenges teachers, parents and employers to encourage students to take part in Hour of Code.
During the course of Computer Science Education Week, there will be Hour of Code Learning workshops at all major Apple stores and 51 Microsoft retail stores in the US. Participants can experience game-like, self-directed tutorials featuring video lectures by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates and artwork from Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies.
Created in collaboration with engineers from Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook, Code.org's tutorials are available in 20 languages and teach the basic concepts of computer science with drag-and-drop programming. Students can use them to learn repeat-loops, conditionals and basic algorithms, for instance.
Code.org is co-founded by Ali Partovi, an investor and former Microsoft executive and an early advisor to Facebook and Dropbox. He told The Wall Street Journal that he had been shocked by the response to Hour of Code and has subsequently broadened the programme and ramped up fundraising.
Several technology leaders and celebrities have contributed video messages and resources for the Hour of Code effort, including President Barack Obama, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, pop star Shakira, actors Ashton Kutcher and Angela Basette, Zuckerberg, Gates and others.
You can check out a host of other notable figures endorsing Hour of Code in the promo video below, or you can go to Code.org's tutorial hub to begin learning how to write lines of code now.