Now that I'm back from my trip (and the subsequent cold that I've battled for the past few days), time to get back to "work."
About a month ago, my friend Jonathan Gottfied interviewed me for his State of Developer Education podcast. It's an hour plus dive into CS / Tech education. It dropped when I was on the plane back to NY last Thursday. I meant to write this on Friday but my cold took me out until today.# COMMENTS
Another school year is starting. Hunter College's classes started last week and public school K12 teachers went back yesterday. I've been having some "back to school dreams" and, yeah, already missing being with the kids but not missing those opening meetings and the rest of the nonsense.
Still, I'm thinking about what this school year will bring in terms of CS. The elephant in the room is just the same as what we closed out with last Spring - AI - specifically generative AI.# COMMENTS
It's back to school time and in addition to all the usual back to school angst and excitement it's also time for the networks to stream all those teacher movies.
Lots of a-list actors have been in teacher movies and many are really entertaining but I've also found many of them to be problematic.
It's not because many of them are "white savior" films, even though, yeah, that too, but rather because many are indirectly demeaning to teachers and the teaching profession in general.# COMMENTS
Passing another miletone on the way to retirement this week. I didn't think it would be this many steps - I figured I'd say I'm retiring, fill out a form, and be done.
It turns out it's a multi stage process.
This week, my contract with Hunter officially ends and as of Friday I'm on Travia leave - that's terminal leave to public school teachers. I basically get full pay and benefits while my reserved sick days get used up at a 2 sick for one real day rate.# COMMENTS
Last weekend I attended the AI X Education Conference - an online conference on, well, AI in education. There were some talks about AI and generative AI in particular but really the split was that Saturday was focused on college education and Sunday on K12.
I only caught a bit of each day but fortunately, the sessions were recorded. Two in particular or more specifically two specific speakers, one in a K12 STEM education session and another in a humanities education session caught my attention.# COMMENTS
Now that I've got a little more free time and energy I decided to get working on a short video series on elisp - the language that's built in to and intertwined with the Emacs editor.
As I've been thinking through and starting the series I started to think about the design decisions, big and small, one makes when designing a class, unit or lesson.
I know many teachers are forced to teach scripted, canned curricula these days but the act of developing something and delivering it is so much more interesting and I dare say better for students.# COMMENTS
Last night, I gave a talk to this years HackNY fellows. It was a lot of fun. I was originally going to speak about liberal arts and tech education but I was asked to do something more on my professional journey as a teacher so I did that. Had a great time but figured I'd write about the liberal art stuff here anyway.
Over the last few months, I've noticed a surge in social media pushing the humanities in CS education.# COMMENTS
There have been a lot of bad ideas foisted onto educators over the course of my career. One of the ones that always pissed me off was the use of a rubric for teacher observation. Specifically, using the Danielson Framework. The Danielson Framework is a LONG laundry list of topics and concepts and for each a teacher could be rated ineffective, developing, effective, or highly effective.
Sure, there are some good things in the framework but using a restrictive rubric to judge a teacher is just a bad idea.# COMMENTS
Another recent discussion online asked "do you need to know assembly language to be a computer scientist?"
Sides quickly formed. On one side, it was a strict requirement. Some going so far as saying you had to start with it or at worst a language like C. On the other side you had people claiming that it's wholly unnecessary for most CS graduates like many of the classes we require of a CS major (I'm looking at you Calc II and beyond).# COMMENTS
I always enjoy Fred Wilson's predictions for the new year over on his blog and this year was no exception.
I was inspired to think a bit on his education prediction:
K12 systems around the US (and around the world) faced with teacher shortages and desperate to erase several years of learning shortfalls, will increasingly adopt online learning services in the school building in lieu of and in addition to in-class learning.# COMMENTS