Let's talk about something other than distance learning and COVID-19.
You know you've been doing something a long time when you've got legends.
Over on my alumni mailing list JonAlf shared a web site showing off what his current students were doing in their computer graphics class. Somewhere in the thread, Con replied:
Someone should put up a video of the fabulous and fantastically famous hand animation called FINGER.
Austin Cory Bart tweeted this a little while ago.
I don't always consider how much power I have as a faculty. Right now, I'd really like to expend that power to make my students understand that I don't want them focused on my course during a global pandemic. Not right now. Later, but not right now.
— Austin Cory Bart (@AustinCorgiBart) March 13, 2020 While Cory's right about this it's also good to remember that as we're all going remote, focusing on our courses can be important for our students not merely due to content but in this time of uncertainty to have something to focus on to remind us of community and remind us of normal.
A couple of weeks ago, a handful of CS Ed folks got together. One issue we discussed was that of finding CS related events both for students and teachers. One of our conveners, Dan Fenjves of UPPERLINE CODE talked about possibly hosting a central site. Today, Dan announced http://csevents.nyc/. A site where organizers can submit and students and teachers can find upcoming events. Right now it's NY centric but it does list some events beyond the city.
Amy Ko posted this yesterday:
CSEd people: many have struggled to use Twitter for discussion. How about Twitter for broadcasting, but when replies turn to discussion, we use https://t.co/2oivuriOoU? It's a better (albeit imperfect) platform for civil discourse. Subreddit mods @AustinCorgiBart @zamansky?
— Amy J. Ko (@amyjko) February 21, 2020 I'd love to see more traffic there. For full disclosure, I'm one of the moderators but in my defense, I'm not much of a moderator and as Cory said, I too am happy to either keep moderating or to step aside.
Presenting at CSTA 2020 I noticed a few tweets and posts from people announcing that they'd be presenting at CSTA2020 - the big computer science teachers conference held every July.
A common thread in a few of these were trepidation's presenters. Excited to be doing this but nervous.
It's interesting that teachers, myself included, sometimes get nervous before presentations even though we present every day as part of our jobs.
Out of class student communication is always a challenge. There are plenty of options:
Slack, Discord, or other chat system
Discourse, Vanilla or other discussion forum system
but all have warts. I shared my thoughts on a number of these options a while ago but thought I'd update them now.
Most of my opinions hold form my earlier post.
Two days ago, a teacher's comment on a frustrating situation made me mad. Yesterday, I got to be part of something that made me very happy. Last night, Devorah and I ventured out to Coney Island to celebrate the twentieth wedding anniversary of two former students. It's such a joy and an honor to be included in these types of life events and even more so to count the couple and so many other former students and friends.
For those of you who don't know, MongoDB is a very popular NoSQL database. NoSQL is an overarching term describing databases that are not relational and don't implement Structured Query Language (SQL). In a relational database your data is stored in tables with columns - think spreadsheet where each row of the table is a record in the database. You link tables together via a common field or row name.
One of the side benefits of visiting high schools is that I end up going all over the city. This takes me to neighborhoods that I normally wouldn't have reason to visit. For a New York History wonk that can be pretty cool even if you just limit yourself to looking at the schools. A few of the schools I visited in the last couple of weeks before the new year were self contained whole building schools:
Thanksgiving weekend is also reunion weekend. I've been on and off invited to Stuy reunions over the years. Not as often it seems as some teachers but more often than others. I always do my best to attend. I have very fond memories of many students and many classes over many years and think a lot about them so feel very honored whenever I'm invited to one of these.