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hour of code educator notes

Hour Of Code™ with TouchDevelop Educator Notes

The 'Hour of Code'™ is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and to introduce millions of students to computer science and computer programming. Participants can choose from a wide assortment of online tutorials and live events, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics of computer programming.
Hour of Code 2014 runs from December 8 through 14.
This document will show you how to prepare and deliver an Hour Of Code™ event using TouchDevelop.
  • You do not need any prior experience, the tutorials will guide you all the way!
  • Students can use their own personal phones or tablets!

Training and materials

Get ready and prepare for the event! We've recorded a video explaining how to run the Hour Of Code as well as materials localized in various languages.

Event Timeline

The event should run for about 50 minutes. The following is a suggested sequence of activities.
  • 00:00 introduction (5 min)
  • 05:00 students go to (5 min)
  • 10:00 jetpack jumper (15 min - start the music, timer)
  • 25:00 student demo and raffle (5 min - stop the music, timer)
  • 30:00 jetpack customization (15 min - start the music & timer)
  • 45:00 student demo and raffle (5 min, stop the music & timer)
  • 50:00, that's it!


You are free to use the flyer/poster below (download) to recruit participants to your events.

teacher training

The best way to train yourself to run the event is to go through the activities on your own. Each activity can also be printed with the complete list of steps for further review.

logistics checklist

1) Devices

  • You can use the student's personal phones/tablets:
TouchDevelop runs on phones, tablets and desktop computers, with or without touch, with or without a mouse. The following devices are supported: iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablets, Windows Phone 8, Windows desktops, laptops and tablets, Chromebooks, Linux and Mac, Kindle Fire.
  • Each student should have access to a device running TouchDevelop. If you're short on devices have your students pair up (we recommend no more than 2 students per device).

2) WiFi

Make sure your network can connect to the internet, and can access the following web sites:

3) Raffle tickets and prizes (recommended)

  • Reward students with raffle tickets to keep them engaged. Tutorials have clear trophy checkpoints that you can use to give away raffle tickets.
  • Give away lots of cheap prizes (candy is always a nice choice).

4) Music (recommended)

We recommend playing the latest hits (loudly) while the students are coding. It creates a playful atmosphere and makes the entire experience more enjoyable. Many web sites offer streaming music, but be sure to try it in advance as certain sites may be blocked on your network.

5) Timer (recommended)

Use a timer to keep track of time during the event. Many timer apps are available online.


The Hour Of Code™ with TouchDevelop page features many interactive tutorials. You can find even more tutorials here.


As much as possible, TouchDevelop will try to diagnose problems and provide specific instructions to fix them. If a student gets stuck, here are a few things to try:
  • make sure the time and date is set correctly on the device.
  • try refreshing the page.
  • try clearing the browser cache data and disabling private mode.

follow up

After your Hour Of Code™, you will want to provide plenty of material for students to continue learning about coding. Here are some good places to start: