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Tag: CS Education

CSTA 2024 day 3

Started out today in a session titled "Keep Calm and AI on." The panel was made up of CSTA Equity Fellows. It turned out that the session wasn't what I was looking for. According to the description the panel was supposed to cover "the promise and the challenges of various artificial intelligence tools, especially generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Copilot, and Bard." Instead it was a general panel and discussion of the use of AI.
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CSTA 2024 day 2

What, no day 1? Well, day one was all workshops followed by a keynote and a reception. I generally don't do workshops and got in too late for the keynote but I did hit the reception but not too much to write about there. This year the CSTA conference is in Las Vegas. I've never been to Vegas and there's not really much of a draw here for me. I'm not into gambling, the food, for a New Yorker is nothing special and while there are a number of shows that are unique to Vegas, again, as a New Yorker, it's not like I'm lacking for local entertainment options.
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CS Research by HS Students

Last week Devorah and I attended the Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association's annual fundraising gala. We were there as guests of the Alumni Association since, as retired teachers, gala tickets are generally out of our budget range. We had a great time. I spent time with a bunch of former students spanning the years, some current teachers I hadn't seen since I left Stuy, as well as new Stuy alums and current students.
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Should we use MongoDB in High School

Should we use MongoDB in High School? That's the question. Usually when I give a post such a title, I already have an opinion - it'll be a yes or no and if it's yes, I'll have a plan. Not this time. My gut tells me there's a place for it but I'm not sure where. Besides, that's not what this post is really about. At one point during SIGCSE 2023, I stopped by the MongoDB booth.
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New York - where actual teacher preparation in optional.

This morning, I read Arthur Goldstein's latest blog post. Arthur, is a relatively recently retired NYC public school teacher, a UFT (United Federation of Teachers) chapter leader, and a frequent critic of Michael Mulgrew, the current and long term UFT president. I'm a union guy through and through but I also, like Arthur, believe that UFT's leadership is neither pro-teacher nor pro-student but rather pro-themselves. It's a rather sad state of affairs.
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Do you really need a degree for tech - an MLH podcast

Yesterday, I noticed a LinkedIn post by my friend Jonathan Gottfried of Major League Hacking about an MLH podcast, The State of Developer Education. The episode he shared caught my eye. It was titled "Do you Really Need a Degree for Tech?" Here's the YouTube link. It featured Lauren Schaeffer, Developer Advocate for Grammarly. I enjoyed listening to Jon and Lauren's conversation and recommend that you too take a listen, Lauren talked a bit about her journey and highlighted some happenings and practices along the way in school, IBM, MongoDB, and finally Grammarly.
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A poor craftsman blames his tools

Yesterday, Alfred Thompson posted on students knowing their development environments. Alfred's post was inspired by a related post by Eugene Wallingford. Eugene's post was about more than development environments and both his and Alfred's posts are worth a read. Being a tool wonk I thought I'd add my two cents. I've always been a tool wonk. Use the right tool for the job and if you need to buy one, don't cheap out - get the best value right tool.
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Some Professional Development Is Worthwhile

No, I'm not walking back anything from my last post. I still think we have to stop using professional development as the primary means for preparing CS teachers but I wanted to take a minute to make it clear that while there's plenty of lousy PD out there, there's also plenty of good stuff. For bad PD, it's frequently mandated and frequently neither useful or relevant or even if its potentially relevant, but the time it becomes useful you don't remember it.
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Why PD doesn't work for CS

EDIT I was reminded that by referring to CS4All and what it's doing in NYC people could read an implication that the many hard working educators are not doing a yeoman's job and indeed they are. They've been doing the heavy lifting from day 1 to bring opportunities to students and I did not mean to impugn their work or efforts in any way. I also want to mention that I know that there are many educators working in NY in CS who have been providing direct support for teachers outside of PD and this post is not about them and their good work.
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We need certified teachers, not professionally developed teachers.

Last time I mentioned that there are many teachers teaching CS in NY that have no intention of earning the new certification and also don't really know the subject. People might not want to here this but it's true. I don't blame the teachers for this since they've been repeatedly told that "CS is super easy" and that their PD training 100% makes them CS teachers and really prepares them.
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