A couple of weeks ago I was catching up with Cai - one of my many former students now living in the Bay Area. Cai was back in NY to spend time in his company Ironclad's NY office. It was great to catch up. We went over to a local restaurant and I heard a "hey Z!!" from behind me. It was Rodda, younger member of the family. He mentioned that he was at Ramp along with a bunch of other StuyCS folk and that I came up in conversation the other day.# COMMENTS
It's been a month since my last post. In fact it seems that most of the usual CS Ed bloggers are down in frequency this year. For me it's probably been Covid fatigue and the resulting funk but I'm going to see if I can force myself to write more frequently.
So, the other day someone was asking about CS certification in NY state on Facebook. One comment caught my eye.# COMMENTS
Garth Flint recently wrote another post talking about some of the PD going on in his neck of the woods. Garth talks about the disconnect between the professors putting on the PD and what goes on in the K12 classrooms of the attending teachers. Here's the money quote:
“Why do all college CS profs think everyone loves math? Want to turn kids off to programming? Throw math at them.”# COMMENTS
Yesterday we held our third monthly Professional Development session for teachers of "APCS-A, Similar, and Beyond." It's great to see that we're starting to form a core of a community of CS teachers teaching some of the more advanced classes as there is a core group that keeps coming back for more. Even better is the fact that we're gaining a couple of new teachers at each session.
Last time, we were at Digital Ocean, a cloud provide that has been very involved in education since their creation and has been a tremendous boon to my education projects over the years.# COMMENTS
Now and again there are requests on the assorted CS Education forums asking about which text book to use. These requests are usually for APCS-A. There are usually a number of "I'm very happy with …" replies but I thought I'd take a bit of a deeper dive into what teachers might want to consider when evaluating a textbook.
It was never an issue when I started as a math teacher.# COMMENTS
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The Nifty Assignments session at SGICSE is always a popular one.
Go to the site and you'll find links to all the assignments presented from 1999 to the present year.
On the one hand, it's a great resource. On the other, the assignments vary in nifty-ness depending on one's personal taste. To me, there seemed to be a run of nifty assignments that were really just "take a generic assignment and fancy up the graphics" mixed in with one's that I found really cool.# COMMENTS
Back in December we ran our first PD session for CS teachers. This was to address the need for professional development for teachers who were more experienced in terms of computer science - we aimed this at people who were ready to teach APCS-A, similar, or beyond and also to start to build a community for these teachers. We had trouble setting things up for February but we're good to go for March, April and May.# COMMENTS
Why can't we use a real language!
This topic has been coming up a lot recently. Now I'm not talking about the Drag and drop vs textual language thing. Let me be clear. To me a Drag and Drop language can certainly be a real language and many are. I also think they're terrific when used correctly. I just think they're frequently misapplied in later grades. No, I'm talking about people asking things like "Why do we have to use Java in our class, why can't we use a real language like __.# COMMENTS
Since 2015, Eric Wastl has gifted us each December with Advent of Code - a 25 day programming competition that I very much enjoy. This year I haven't been able to get to too many of the problems. I only completed the first two days on the day they were released, problem three a day late and then I didn't get back to the problems until almost 12/25 - the final day of the competition.# COMMENTS
Back in September I talked about embarking on my Fall 2018 HS CS Tour. Since then I've visited about a dozen schools. I'd like to thank my friends who helped connect me to schools - particularly Aankit Patel and Diane Levitt.
Even though the original motivation for the visits was to get the word out about Hunter CS and the awesome things we're doing in the Hunter CS Honors program I always tried to make my talks about something that would be relevant for the entire audience and not just the few that were great fits for my program.# COMMENTS