I just got back from SIGCSE2018 - the big annual conference on computer science education. Although I've been in this racket for decades, this was only my second SIGCSE and once again I had a blast.
As with most conferences, a highlight was the "hallway track" where I got to spend time with friends and colleagues from all over the country. I also got to check off a few names from the "people I've been following online and want to meet in person" list. There are a few more on the list but it's getting smaller.
The theme was CS For All but the range of topics covered was both wide and deep.
For me, I left thinking about a few themes:
- College faculty can learn a lot from K12 teachers in terms of pedagogy and teaching.
- So can "thought leaders," policy makers, and big companies.
- Colleges face a huge challenge in both developing pedagogues and transfering pedagogical knowledge over to researchers.
- Can you do both CS4All and have quality CS teachers in the short term (I doubt it)?
- Researchers vs Practitioners and the value of listening to one or the other.
- Nifty assignments are frequently regular assignments reskinned with graphics.
There were a few sessions that dissapointed me but most of the ones I attende were terrific. I thought I'd blog about some of them in detail over the next few weeks.
Here are the sessions I'm planning on writing about:
- Implementing Malloc: Students and SYstems Programming presented by Brian Railing
- Creativity, Customization, and Onwership: Game Design in Bootstrap: Algebra, presented by Kathi Fisher
- An Explicit Strategy to Scaffold Novice Program Tracing, presented by Benjamin Xie
- Strategies for Basing the CS Theory Course on Non-decision Problems, presented by John MacCormick
- Connect the Dots to Prove It: A Novel Way to Learn Proof Construction, by McCartin-Lim, Woolf, and Mcregor
- Google Supporter Session on Incorporating Machine Learning into University Courses.
- Nifty Assignments
I might talk about a few other sessions as well.
Overall it was a great conference. I look forward to sharing my experiences with all of you in the coming posts.