I noticed a tweet the other day talking about gamification of education. It got me thinking.
Gamification isn't specifically the hot trend right now, at least not as "the one true way" to teach but every few years it surges as this great new idea to fix education.
When it surges, it's always the hot new thing but it never really is.
Gamification has been around at least since I was in grade school and it was never a magic bullet.
Day 3 ended up being a quick one. That is, as long as your language supports set operations. You can do it without set operations but it's easier if you've got them.
Part 1 Input is a file of text where each line is an input.
You have to read each line, split it in half and then find the common letter between the left and right halves and then apply their scoring rules on that letter.
It's Advent of Code season again. Every day a new two part programming challenge and once again I'm taking part. At least until grading and other end of term obligations end up eating my lunch.
I wasn't planning on writing anything up but the first two days looked like nice problems for CS1 or even CS0 students and since my friend Steve was writing up his take, I thought I'd at least comment on the first two.
Last time, I wrote about frustrations in trying to motivate myself to learn ocaml. I could see the strong points but given that I've been using Clojure now for a while, it didn't really hold any value added for me in my current situation.
Next, I thought I'd explore Rust. On the non-functional style, my go to languages have always been Python for scripting and small things and C professionally.
Now that I've done posting about why I'm retiring we can get back to our usual blogging.
I haven't really done anything technical over the past couple of year. The most programming I did in the past 18 months was a halfhearted effort at the Advent of Code 2021 event last December. I thought I'd see about picking up a new language to change that. In doing so, I was reminded of some of my resistances to learning a new language and how I've seen similar from self taught students coming into my classes.
Links to the three posts in this series: If you're seeing this before the previous two posts, I'd encourage you to read post 1 and 2 first.
Post 1: Why I'm retiring Post 2: What was accomplished at Hunter Post 3: This post As I said at the start of these three posts, I do want to stay in the game. Maybe take a break and definately slow down but I still think I've got something to contribute.
Links to the posts in this series If you're reading this before the previous post, I'd recommend going back and reading that one first. Post 1: Why I'm retiring Post 2: This post Post 3: What I think I'll be looking for next I think I've carved out a somewhat unique career. Never set out to be a teacher and a couple of different turns here or there and things could have been very different.
I've been dropping mentions of this here and there for a while now but I think it's time to come out more formally -
I'm planning on retiring from Hunter at the end of this Spring.
This doesn't mean getting out of the CS or CS Ed game entirely - I could stay on in a part time capacity and, after some decompression I think I still have things to offer but the plan is retire, collect my pension, and then see where I can continue to be contribute to the Ed/CS Ed scene.
So, in some of the social platform discussion on my last post, the issue of the practicality of a college education came up. Should college teach practical job skills or should it be for some more abstract purpose - learning for learning sake or if one would be a bit presumptions learning how to think.
Way back when going to college was not the norm. Most went from HS to workforce and even in HS you might have the "academic" track that prepared you for college, "vocational" that was job prep like automotive or regular which was neither extreme.
Hunter College, like most colleges and universities is facing unprecedented demand for CS. It's the hot major. Being a public college, we have an obligation to provide the best education possible to as many students as we can in our locality. This means we can't just put a GPA requirement or other cap on the major and we can't do things I've heard "elite" schools do like essentially making applicants apply to the major direct from HS.