Limitations Of Remote Teaching

While tools like Zoom, Slack and others are a tremendous boon as we're forced to do all our teaching remotely the limitations become apparent as we settle in and try to go beyond the basics of an offsite meeting. Today was code review day in my CS1 class. It's a lesson that I enjoy teaching and I think my students get a lot out of it. Today we had to do it remote.
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Using Emacs 70 Org Protocol

I spent part of today cleaning up my Emacs workflow. Specifically, how I capture emails and links into org-mode I already wrote about how I used org-capture (here and here). It's pretty clean and easy but there was one thing that always nagged at me. When I capture from mu4e within Emacs by hitting C-c m it's set up to automatically populate the capture template with a link to the email labelled with the email's subject.
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Class Legends

Let's talk about something other than distance learning and COVID-19. You know you've been doing something a long time when you've got legends. Over on my alumni mailing list JonAlf shared a web site showing off what his current students were doing in their computer graphics class. Somewhere in the thread, Con replied: Someone should put up a video of the fabulous and fantastically famous hand animation called FINGER.MDL. It dates from a little before my time, but stories elevated it to legendary status.
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Necessity is the mother of invention

I didn't expect to read a Fred Wilson post on teaching online but that's what I found when I visited his blog this morning. Don't get me wrong - I suspect that Fred has the makings of a great teacher, it's just not what I expected to find. There have been many posts about education but I don't recall any about teaching or more specifically the art of teaching. I did find this post though which actually speaks to some of the thoughts today's post got churning.
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Guest Post - Missing out on a great opportunity in education

Preamble I've never accepted a guest post before but when my friend and long time colleague JonAlf Dyrland-Weaver said he had something to say I was all for it. JonAlf's one of the best teachers I know - he started at Brandeis HS and has been at Stuy forever. Really sharp guy, great teacher, and really perceptive. When he has something to say it's 100% worth listening to. To JonAlf - since I know this is one of my blog posts you'll actually read - you should set up a blog of your own.
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Using Emacs 69 Floobits

Hunter, like most other schools has gone remote. I taught my first two online classes on Thursday. Currently, I'm using Zoom for synchronous stuff and a mailing list and slack for async. There are still some missing pieces. When we're all together, it's easy to look at a student's work and talk them through issues. It's also easy to get students to work together, at least to a point. With everyone locked up in their own homes, real time collaboration is harder.
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Brazilian Carrot Cake

Not my normal post but these are not normal times. Besides, this isn't the first recipe I've posted. I'm one of those that will, as long as supplies allow, bake and cook my way through our shelter in. Today I made Brazilian carrot cake. It's not quite the same as an American carrot cake as you'll see from the recipe below. First, carrot cake rules: Obviously since it contains carrot which is a vegetable, it's healthy.
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Teaching Online - Day 01

I taught my first two online classes this morning. The first one from 8:10 - 9:25 and the second from 9:45 - 11:00. Toolset: Zoom meetings Emacs (yes, not just an editor) First up Zoom. I think I want a video camera on policy. All my students should have laptops with working cameras. Some students might have issues with showing even a small bit of what's behind them so I don't want to make it required but I really wish they'd also have cameras on.
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Teaching online - a test run

Hunter's classes are still on hiatus while we figure out how we're going to deliver instruction remotely. I have it easier than most. First, my students all get laptops as being part of the Daedalus program. This doesn't mean they have great internet access or access at all but it does mean they have a device that can run everything we need them to run. I don't yet know if they all have adequate internet access but I'm hoping it's either not an issue or one that we can easily figure out.
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Using Emacs Episode 68 - Tramp and org-publish

I maintain a couple of small simple web sites. One provides information about my undergraduate honors CS program and another that isn't live yet is a FAQ for my CS teacher certification program. Traditionally I would use ssh to connect to the host machine, fire up Emacs and edit the html files to update the sites. I always forget that with Emacs we can do better. One way is with Tramp Mode.
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