After recruiting Will.i.am to help encourage students to explore the world of code, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates are preparing to take a more hands-on approach. As part of their mission with Code.org, the non-profit that aims to make computer courses more prevalent in schools, both influential tech icons will be contributing tutorials to an "Hour of Code" event slated for early December. Set to coincide with Computer Science Education Week, the Hour of Code is an introductory lesson "designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator." Microsoft says Gates will also participate in a conference call with students.
Organizers are hoping to reach 10 million students with the effort. Considering the industry heavyweights backing Code.org — Google, Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Square's Jack Dorsey, and others are providing financial support — that goal may well be attainable. And it's not just limited to schools; Code.org is encouraging communities and businesses to take part. Anyone between the ages of six and 80 can get involved. Educators who organize Hour of Code events will receive 10GB of complimentary Dropbox storage, and a school in every US state will be gifted a class set of laptops for their participation.