Community

Challenges of teaching at a commuter school

One of the bigger challenges faced at commuter schools is building a feeling of community. Students aren't on campus every day and come from far afield and even when they are on campus, we really don't have a CS "hang out" space. The space issue should be resolved soon - we're scheduled to get a CS student lounge next semester. I'm finding this to be even more of a challenge this year with my honors students.
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Reunion Season

Thanksgiving is reunion season. Stuyvesant and I'm guessing other high schools traditionally hold their reunions, at least the five and ten year ones over the holiday weekend. It makes sense since grads who've moved away might still be coming to town for family celebrations. This year, I was invited to the Stuy07 ten year reunion. I considered crashing the Stuy97 20 year but it was at the same time and too far away.
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CS Teachers - we need you to blog

At this past year's CSTA conference, a few of us huddled in a corner voiced a very common lament - "it would be great if more CS teachers blogged." It really would be. We're still a relatively small community and while there's some good conversation going on on mailing lists and on Facebook, those aren't easily discoverable or accessible and in the case of Facebook, there's a question of ownership and permanence.
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CS Educators StackExchange

The CS Educators StackExchange is now in public beta. For those of you who are not in tech, StackExchange is a network of question answering sites. StackOverflow is probably the most famous - many peoples go to site for computer science and programming questions and answers. During this period of public beta the site will be working on defining itself and also on developing a critical mass of users. I hope the site succeeds and I encourage everyone to check it out, ask questions, answer some and let's all see where this goes.
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Knitting at a Tech Conference

This past weekend was Catskills Conf, one of my favorite events of the year. Last year, Devorah joined me and also enjoyed the show. If you know my wife, you know she's always knitting. Ok, not true, she's always knitting, spinning, weaving or performing some other form of fiber craft. I can't complain. That's how I ended up with my Kandinsky, Dust Puppy and Yoda sweaters and my awesome Kang and Kodos socks.
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Waking up in the Hudson Valley

Waking up to a beautiful brisk morning at the Ashokan Center in the Hudson Valley. Last year, Devorah and I attended the first Catskillsconf, a tech conference in Olivebridge, NY. It was an amazing and unique experience. I can only describe it as Tech Conference meets Summer camp. Where else can you hear talks by people like Dennis Crowley and an alos hear the music of Mike and ruthy. This year, I gave another educaiton rant and to add to the fun, Devorah's been leading a knitting for Charity project and teaching attendees to knit:
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Can NYCIST become in leader in CS Education?

I only learned about NYCIST last spring. They're the "New York Consortium for Independent School Technologists." They had something of an open house that I attended. I heard about them from friend and fellow CS educator Saber Khan. Last Thursday I spent an afternoon and evening with NYCIST members for a discussion of the state of K12 Computer Science Education in the City. Most of my work has been with public schools and most of the teachers I know, public school teachers so it was great to make new friends in the Independent school community.
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Impostor Syndrome - I'm not good enough

I've been meaning to comment on these tweets for a while: I went to high school with some scary smart people. Never made math team. Didn't get into honors math. Thought I wasn't good at it. — Stanislav Nikolov (@snikolov) June 30, 2016 @zamansky :D that's the thing though you can get such an inferiority complex by always comparing yourself to others https://t.co/LvaMjp1WVf — Stanislav Nikolov (@snikolov) July 1, 2016
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West coast trip - a nice close to act I

If I look at my leaving Stuyvesant and the NYC Department of Education to join Hunter College as the end of Act I of my teaching career, then our family's West Coast swing was a nice way to pull down the curtain. The impetus for the trip was visiting Batya - she's interning at Facebook this summer and having an absolute blast. The plan was to spend a few days in San Francisco, then a little south to Mountain View, where Batya was staying, and then fly up to Seattle for a couple of days.
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Discussion Silos

div.center {text-align:center;} In response to the past couple of days where my friends and fellow CS Ed advocates Alfred Thompson, Rob Underwood, and I had a nice little discussion via our blogs, Alfred wrote this. It's great when a number of voices in the community have an open discussion but one of the things I found myself lamenting was the fact that a lot of the discussion isn't truly accessible.
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