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C'est la Z


Lesson and project inspiration from old BSD games

When I was writing the I Speak Jive post, the first thing I had to do was find those old programs. It turned out to be harder than I thought. I found online versions but it took a while to find this GitHub repo. On the way, I seemed to recall that these might be bundled with a bunch of old BSD games so I took a look at the BSD games package for Linux.

Classes Or After school programs - which is more important for female retention in CS?

This morning Mark Guzdial tweeted on his latest post: Results from Longitudinal Study of Female Persistence in CS: AP CS matters, After-school programs and Internships do not — Mark Guzdial (@guzdial) October 14, 2019 I'm glad Mark wrote about this as it's something that's important to both research and publicize but it's really not a surprise. I'm going to start by dismissing the statement that "… participation in the Aspirations awards program were teh best predictors of persistence three years after the high school survey in both CS and other technology-related majors.

Big Code And Case Studies

I'm enjoying reading about Ria Galanos' new chapter on her blog. In her most recent post Ria briefly talks about the fact that very few professional developers start from scratch and most work in existing large code bases. She wonders why the College Board got rid of the APCS-A case study and talked about how it gave students an opportunity to work on a multi-file complex system. Over the past few years others have wondered if the College Board should bring it back.

Java Interfaces

Two of the hardest topics to make meaningful to students in APCS-A are inheritance and interfaces. It's not that they're super difficult topics but rather that they're not often needed, useful, or superior to not using them on beginner assignments. More often than not the motivation is a bit forced as are the assignments. Inheritance is its own can of worms and to be honest, something I've not found to be all that useful or necessary.