A couple of weeks ago a friend posted to Social media asking for a text book recommendation. As it happened, the one he had been using for his class was no longer going to be published. One of the replies was strongly against using printed text books stating that online resources are superior.
I thought this was worth exploring.
First thing worth discussing is cost. For public K12 students this generally isn't an issue.# COMMENTS
I've said multiple times that I don't believe in "Best Practices." I believe there are practices that can be strong when employed in specific situations.
I was reminded of this when I saw a reddit thread yesterday where teachers were sharing "best practices" that were forced on them by their administrators or districts, usually due to "the research" that just didn't work for them.
One in particular that stood out to me was Proficiency Grading, also known as Standards Based Grading, Mastery Grading, Competency Based Grading, Everybody gets A's, and probably other monikers.# COMMENTS
Coming in from my run this morning I had a thought. When I'm not otherwise doing anything in particular, I frequently go for a walk at some point during the day. Usually two to five miles.
I've got a few standard routes - the Union Square Green Market and/or Kalustyans, both of which usually result in some food related purchase, walking down to the village and up the river, or similar but starting by going north.# COMMENTS
One of the highlights of this week has been finally getting together with a large number of the teachers in my certification program. Another was finally being able to once again attend a CSTA-NY meeting as they've almost always conflicted with my teaching schedule over the past couple of years.
The reason I scheduled my meetup back to back with the CSTA-NY meetup was because of another highlight. Five of my Advanced Certificate teachers are from the Dryden and Groton school districts, a little east and northeast of Cayuga lake near Ithaca.# COMMENTS
Finally, after three years, we had the opportunity for the participants in my (Hunter's) CS Teacher Certification program to get together in person. Last year, a handful of the cohort 2 members had a dinner but never a big gathering across the cohorts.
Not everyone could make it, so yesterday, we had close to 50 teachers out of our total 100 across the three cohorts gather at Yext in the Meatpacking district to meet each other, talk shop, and celebrate being New York State's first certified CS teachers.# COMMENTS
One of the things I enjoy about the topics class I'm teaching is that for most of the course, the students, teachers in their own rights, deliver much of the instruction. Since I have much more CS experience than most, maybe all of the students, I usually don't see a great deal of new content for me - maybe a touch here or there, but I do get to see different approaches and teaching techniques and that can be a lot of fun.# COMMENTS
A teacher in one of my networks posted a question earlier today - "have you had any challenges or trouble with motivating kids in your classes?"
Not a new question and I'm sure for any teacher with any level of experience the answer is a resounding yes. I don't care who you are. Not all of your students are motivated all the time.
This can particularly be a problem when a teacher switches over from teaching an elective or selective to a required class but it might not be.# COMMENTS
So, yesterday was the first day of the semester. Since I'm retiring, it's my last first day at Hunter.
Felt pretty good. I think knowing that I'll get a break after the term has alleviated some of the burnout for now.
What will I be focusing on in class this last time around?
I'm teaching three classes.
First up is my undergraduate data structures. To be honest, I'm not looking at anything special there - just business as usual.# COMMENTS
The plan was to talk about what we can and should do in CS classes with respect to chatGPT type technologies but after seeing so much discussion on how to and not to use chatGPT I thought I'd insert this additional post on classroom use.
We already talked about the good. I love the idea of making an essay with errors for proof reading and it can be a great search resource, albeit one that needs to be error checked and I'm sure many other productive teaching and teaching support applications will turn up.# COMMENTS
So, since we discussed cheating and chatGPT and decided that there shouldn't be a ban, how can it or similar tools be used productively?
General use The first go to seems to be as an alternative search engine. It hasn't been uncommon seeing people say they use chatGPT instead of searching StackOverflow. This makes sense. ChatGPT gives answers and the natural language interface can make it easier to form some questions or ask for results in a particular format.# COMMENTS