Usher, Microsoft, Emory U & Partner to Teach Kids Tech Code

Students participate in Usher's New Look Foundation's partnership with Microsoft, and Emory University to teach tech coding to Georgia teens.  (Photo Credit: Thomas Springer, Jr.)

Students participate in Usher’s New Look Foundation’s partnership with Microsoft, and Emory University to teach tech coding to Georgia teens.
(Photo Credit: Thomas Springer, Jr.)

Usher’s New Look Foundation (UNLF) recently partnered with and Microsoft to host an Hour of Code tutorial at Emory University Goizueta Business School. The program was designed as a Computer Science Education Week campaign to teach over 10 million kids nationwide how to create codes used throughout technology and software apps. When using technology and software apps, children do have to have some prior knowledge of computers and possess some technological skills. If some students aren’t completley confident, they can always consider looking at for a quick course to brush up their IT skills to ensure they can get the most out of these courses.

The demonstrations used video lectures featuring Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Chris Bosh, President Obama and Angry Birds was the visual aid. The kids assembled in small groups to drag and drop small units across the computer monitors. The kids also learned algorithms, repeat-loops and conditionals. Getting kids to get used to computer monitors is a good way for them to understand technology as a start off, they will then be able to move onto such things as rack mounted monitors if they go into a technology field as a career. Going onto can get them understanding the various technologies out there available.

In Georgia, 133 schools teach computer science-related courses. There is a strong push to mold young students of color particularly into more tech- and career-savvy candidates. UNLF participants that attended Hour of Code were primarily high school freshmen and sophomores.

New Look and Microsoft have been in partnership on various community and career-based initiatives for over two years. Speaking of Microsoft, there are lots of resoruces online which can be used so you can practice and test your knowledge – click here to check it out. UNLF Associate Executive Director Gavin McGuire believes workshops like Hour of Code will increase academic performance and enhance student engagement.

“This is a growing field. It’s good to give our students a head start and be on cutting edge. That’s the New Look way. This speaks to what we do. It’s not just reading it in a book or researching it. The experience is invaluable,” says McGuire. It’s somewhat imperative that our new generations are well taught about computer systems and ever-improving technologies, offering the children classes and hands-on experience with the different course requirements. Along with allowing students to gain these valuable skills for an increasingly technical world, it’s important we provide them the resources to educate themselves too, such as providing them spaces to find all the necessary information on a topic, such as this resource for the mta 98-366 exam certification and many others.

At the time of UNLF’s workshop, updated via Twitter that over 15 million kids wrote over a half a billion lines of code.’s platform was to also encourage schools throughout America to implement computer science as part of core curriculum.

“It’s always good to provide hands-on exposure and access to opportunities that they might not be aware of. It’s important to spark their interests in areas that they may have innate talent,” says McGuire.

This post was written by Christopher A. Daniel, a pop cultural critic and music editor for The Burton Wire. He is also a contributing writer for Urban Lux Magazine and Blues & Soul Magazine. Follow Christopher @Journalistorian on Twitter.

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