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Tag: CS Education

Trends In Professional Development in CS - it's not all good

My friend Tom tweeted earlier which led me to this piece on trends in CS professional development (PD). Tom's tweet was talking about virtual vs in person PD so I initially thought I'd write about that and PD in general but the article actually led to some deeper issues with PD. The article talks about PD being focussed on specific units or modules, narrowing to more popular offerings and also becoming less localized.
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Finally got the class working - only took five years

You don't become a master teacher overnight. It takes years, perhaps decades. Year one, you're just trying to survive. Year two is frequently a small step back. Year three on is slow improvement provide the teacher works to improve. To me and eight to ten year teacher is usually an advanced beginner, fifteen years? Seasoned. Master teacher? You're probably pushing close to 20 years or more. Of course, there are exceptions but this is the pattern I've most often observed (burnout notwithstanding).
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Hunter Launches CS Teacher Certification Programs

It took a while but we're finally here. Hunter College is launching it's Computer Science Teacher Certification programs. This was the second big initiative I've been working on at Hunter. The first was the Daedalus undergraduate CS scholars program. The Daedalus program started my first year and is now providing the best value (and in my opinion best) undergraduate CS opportunity in New York. CS Certification took longer. I had to design the programs, they had to make it through the whole CUNY governance process which even under ideal circumstances takes around a year and then up through NYSED.
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Presenting At CSTA 2020

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.
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Communicating With Students - maybe GitHub to the rescue

Out of class student communication is always a challenge. There are plenty of options: Piazza Facebook group Slack, Discord, or other chat system Discourse, Vanilla or other discussion forum system Mailing list 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. I was using and continue to use a mailing list as I can be pretty sure that students will get the email and they don't have to go to any outside site or application.
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I Speak Jive

When I wrote about the HighWebEd I mentioned John William''s talk on Agile. He spoke about how the movie Airplane! was filmed in an Agile manner and gave as an example the development of the "jive" scenes. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zdCjbJ6NEfc" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> Apparently the creative team had a script but it wasn't working. The first pair that read for the role, Norman Gibbs and Al White had their owned take.
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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 https://t.co/GOzp3045Hp — 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.
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Cheating on CS projects

Alfred Thompson posted today about cheating on CS class projects. It was in response to Garth Flint's post on finding interesting projects which in turn referenced earlier posts by Alfred and me. Garth laments that it's hard to find projects that are both interesting and meaty but where solutions can't easily be searched for online. Alfred notes that cheating will happen and that it's an ethics issue. This is why I try to create a culture of sharing and acknowledging credit (that is, citing sources) but I'm not naive enough to believe there isn't any cheating in my classes.
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Teaching techniques - industry to classroom and classroom to industry

There are things we do in school and there are things we do in industry and they're not always the same. In school we might use a learning language or an IDE which gives additional support and at times even take away language features while at work you might you might make heavy use of continuous integration tools. On the other hand, sometimes we use the same things. Java is used in schools and in industry, StackOverflow consulted in both and many schools use professional IDEs like Eclipse.
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Pig Latin - a beginner lesson with some depth

I recently did a unit where I had my students convert words into Pig Latin. I like the problem because to start it only requires strings, functions and if statements but there is some depth to the unit. We start with simplified rules: If the word starts with a vowel, add "ay" to the end of the word If it starts with a consonant move the first latter to the end and add "ay" don't worry about anything else Students usually start with something like this:
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