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C'est la Z

Teaching Styles

My friend Emmanuel lamented over on Facebook on "Learning Styles," or more specifically on how it's still given credence. We all chimed in in agreement but not an hour later I saw a Twitter thread where education thought leaders extolled the virtues of Learning Styles all over again. I pointed out that it's a great example as to why so many teachers scoff at "the research" and "research backed practices.
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New York City has Certified CS Teachers

I'm super proud to say that New York City now has state certified Computer Science Teachers!!!!!! It's been a long road - really long if you consider I got started on my CS Ed journey decades ago and there's a long road ahead but we hit a major milestone. I started at Hunter a little over five years ago and creating teacher certification programs was one of the goals.
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Quick Sort over Zoom

I haven't been blogging much this year. Not sure why - probably pandemic fatigue. It's also affected my blog reading - more scanning, less deep reading. I've also been trying to spend mode time off screen learning how to paint (with,let's say mixed results :-) ) leaving less time and energy to blog. Hopefully I'll pick up on both ends as more people get vaccinated and we can get to a more normal life.
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Teaching and Pedagogy - words and music

I wanted to give a little more context on yesterday's post. In reading over the various comments on social media related to the topic of required and desired CS teacher knowledge there are those that fall on the content is king and pedagogy not so important and others who think you don't really need a deep knowledge of CS. I think you need both and think current teachers need to be given a reasonable but finite amount of time to get there.
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Physics Teacher Wanted - must NOT know Physics

There were a few posts over on Facebook this weekend about teacher certification. It started with a question - should teacher certification be based on an exam like APCS-A with the teacher correctly answering 85% or greater. A lively discussion followed. There was agreement and disagreement with responses ranging from: good idea it's too hard it's not hard enough There was also a discussion of the importance of content knowledge vs knowing how to teach in general.
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Censorship, TOS, and a slippery slope

Lots of chatter with Donald Trump being kicked off platforms left and right. On the one hand we're getting a lot of "it's censorship, it's unust" and on the other side we have "it's about time." I'm of course in the "it's about time" category but even so, there's a cause for concern and a lot of meat for a discussion on tech policies. What makes this interesting discussion fodder is that Trump was removed from different levels of the internet.
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On Teaching Recursion

Yesterday I read three posts on teaching recursion. First by Shriram Krishnamurthi discussing his thoughts on how recursion is taught incorrectly. This prompted Adam Michlin to write about teaching recursion later with some commentary on APCS and then finally, Alfred Thompson added his thoughts. Much like everything else in education there is no single right way to do things. To say as an absolute that you should or shouldn't teach in a certain way is wrong - too many variable.
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Final thoughts on Advent of Code 2020

Time for some final thoughts on Advent of Code 2020. This was my sixth Advent of Code but the first time I completed all 25 days. Better than last year's 31 and a whole lot better than my weakest effort of 11 stars in 2017. I managed to find the time to finish all but two on the day they were released and finished those two on Christmas morning.
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A Teacher Looks at Advent of Code 2020 - Days 21 and 24

Day 24 didn't take that much time so I had a chance to go back and finish day 21. As usual, all my code is up here. Day 21 Problem Link It took me a while to get my head around this example. You have a set of recipes. Each recipe has a list of ingredients and a list of allergens. Your job for part 1 was basically to determine which ingredients don't contain any allergens.
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A Teacher Looks at Advent of Code 2020 - 19 through 23

A few days have past so it's time for an update. Two more days to go and while I haven't completed all the problems, I have accumulated 43 stars which is a personal best. Given the nature of the problems I'm missing, I might even go back and do them at some point. Of course, I may very well also just crash out on the final two days. As usual, all my code is up here.
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