|Tech Celebs Tapped to Teach Code to Newbies|
|By JON M. CHANG (@JonMChang)||Oct 16, 2013, 2:36 AM|
Two of the tech industry's biggest names are offering more than just sage advice to high school students wanting to learn how to write computer code.
Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have also struck a deal with the non-profit organization, Code.org, to offer actual tutorials to those students during Code.org's debut program, "Hour of Code."
Hadi Partovi, Code.org's CEO, said the organization's debut is not an hour long as its name would imply, but a weeklong event during Computer Science Education week, Dec. 9-15.
Partovi held a press conference Monday explaining the event and his organization in more detail, saying that he was hoping to "remove the veil that separates regular people from the Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerbergs of the world."
The tutorials will come in the form of a video lectures featuring Gates, Zuckerberg, and other coding pioneers. Susan Wojcicki, from Google, and Gabe Newell, from Valve Software, are also expected to contribute to Code.org's tutorials. In addition, the tutorial will feature artwork from the popular mobile games "Angry Birds" and "Plants vs. Zombies" throughout its lessons to keep its students engaged.
Hour of Code is an effort to bring one hour of computer science to at least 10 million students across the country.
"Every school should teach computer science," Partovi said. "And every student should have a chance to study it, or at least get some basic exposure."
Partovi will extend Hour of Code to adults as well by reaching out to local chapters of labor unions to give its members a chance to code.
Other celebrities outside of the computer world have also been recruited to spread Code.org's mission. Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat and rapper will.i.am for the Black Eyed Peas have both appeared in the organization's promotional videos.
"It should be mandatory to be a citizen on this planet to read and write code," said will.i.am.