THE BLOG
11/26/2013 09:20 pm ET Updated Jan 26, 2014

Education Can Be Recreation This Thanksgiving

Chances are, you're going to have a hard time trying to avoid technology this Thanksgiving... so why not surprise your family by embracing the robotic uprising this year, rather than trying to prevent it?

Computer Science Education Week is the second week of December, and Thanksgiving week will make a fantastic preview for the hundreds of lessons that have been tailored for the experience.

In general, there are two categories of computer science opportunities that are being made available to the public. First, an unprecedented number of free, self-guided online tutorials have been hand-crafted for those seeking a one hour computer science preview. Among those, you'll see new twists on old favorites, such as Codecademy, and exciting new experiences like Blockly. There are even options with catchy jingles, like the Javascript Road Trip. Any of these would be memorable moments to gather  your family around the computer for.

But what about the families that don't revel in the thought of staring at a computer screen for an afternoon of giving thanks?  There is an option for you, too!  Offered among the many one hour tutorials is a category dubbed "Unplugged."  These options are based on arts, crafts, and playtime. One of the most popular unplugged activities is easily played together with as few as two people, and as many as a school-full.  Utilizing only plastic cups and paper, My Robotic Friends was created to teach the important concepts behind computer science in the form of a cup stacking game. It's a fun and addictive experience that can be played with all ages at the same time.

If you feel like you've heard about Computer Science Education Week and An Hour of Code before, it's probably due to the passion and outspoken relentlessness of organizations such as Code.org, who are striving to make this CSEd Week the biggest one so far. As of this week, their determination has paid off, with over 3 million students pledging to participate in at least one hour of code between December 9th and December 15th, 2013.

What will you pledge to do once the turkey has been eaten?