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Category: education

Rubrics for teacher observations are garbage

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. It's garbage.
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Do you need to know assembly to be a computer scientist?

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).
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How Will Online Influence Teaching

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.
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How The Hash Is Made

Following up on my last post. Soon after I read that tweet, I read Julia's post on hash tables. This got me thinking more about what is and isn't taught in school. Hash tables were always taught in CS programs but back in the day you might not have used them much after your data structures or algorithms classes. Nowadays you're much more likely to use them as they're built in to so many platforms.
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What They Used To Know

I saw this tweet by Julia Evans the other day. if you've been working in computing for > 15 years -- are there fundamentals that you learned "on the job" 15 years ago that you think most people aren't learning on the job today? (I'm thinking about how for example nobody has ever paid me to write C code) — 🔎Julia Evans🔍 (@b0rk) September 9, 2021 I've never met Julia but have been following her on Twitter and reading her blog for some time now.
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Hunter College CS Teacher Certification - Final Project Fun Time

Well, we just delivered the last formal piece of instruction for the summer intensive. Writing this post between visits to breakout rooms as the cohort works on their final projects. Tomorrow and Thursday will be presentation time. Each group will give spend thirty minutes teaching us all about some topic in CS along with the plan for how we could teach the topic to our kids. We've got a few more things to talk about as a group but it's mostly time to sit back and enjoy the show.
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Hunter's CS Teacher Certification program Week 2

Time for some thoughts after week 2. Since this is the inaugural edition of our program and there was no way to really know what the cohort would be like we've been adjusting on the fly. This was expected but we're finally starting to settle in. We're still finding more zoom heavy days but as we move towards the end of our data structures segment there should be fewer of those.
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Hunter's CS Teacher Certification program Week 1

Time for an update on our NY State Teacher Certification Program. We kicked off on Monday. Twenty two students working with three instructors from 9:00 - 3:00 every day. We've been using a combination of synchronous with Zoom and async using Slack and GitHub discussions. We're using GitHub as our main platform. Day 0 was very Zoom heavy but we're trying to balance one big Zoom session a day combined with other work so as to minimize fatigue.
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Education is not a spectator sport

As many of you know, the CS Education programs I designed here at Hunter were finally approved by NY State late last year. We're planning to get started this summer. I've received many questions about the program and will write up the details here sooner or later but one question I frequently get is "will it be offered online?" This is also something I've been asked more than once internal to Hunter.
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Predicting Grades

Just saw this: Evaluation metric idea: take snapshots of students' grades each week (specifically, the grade they actually see in your LMS). How well do these correlate with your final assigned grade? Were students getting good estimates? — Austin Cory Bart (@AustinCorgiBart) May 18, 2019 It made me think of a couple of conversations I had with more senior teachers early in my career. They'd tell me "by and large, you know what the kids are going to get after a few week.
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