In an effort to debunk the myth of the "lone coder toiling away," colossal education company Pearson has joined Code.org's Hour of Code initiative, which seeks to reach 10 million students during Computer Science Education Week.
"We want to help people make progress in their lives through education and also to help boost countries, their workplace skills, and their competitiveness, which is sort of completely aligned with the goals of the Hour of Code," says Marcia Horton, Pearson's editorial director of engineering and computer science. "So it was a very natural thing for us to want to participate in."
On Thursday afternoon, thousands of Pearson employees across the country will participate in the Hour of Code, and some have attempted to further spread the message to their children and local school districts with the company's "Joy of Coding" video.
"The field of computing has long been misunderstood and the Code.org video really went a long way to debunk that stereotype, the lone coder toiling away in a dark cubicle," Horton says. "And they show that coding is cool and gratifying and important and that it's for everyone."
After seeing a Code.org video promoting the Hour of Code in February, Horton says Pearson leaders felt compelled to spread the message as well.
"We thought the best way to do it, given our very long history of offering the market leading solutions for the introduction to programming courses, that it was our authors who should speak about their passion for computer science," Horton says.
In their video, eight of Pearson's computer science authors -- some of whom teach at colleges and universities nationwide, and others who work in the industry -- share their personal stories and why students should learn to code.
"They're talking about creativity and helping others, solving problems, discovery, and exploration," Horton says. "We feel like these sorts of initiatives are going to make a big difference in the number of people who are exposed to coding, and the notion that it's not just for somebody who wants to major in computer science, but rather for students of all disciplines is what's really exciting to us."