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Tag: CS Education

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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Advanced CS Early - Are they learning it or just using it?

I recently took a look at the Cryptopals Crypto Challenges. It's a series of challenges through which you can learn all about crypto and crypto attacks. They say they'll eventually have solutions but since the site appears to be at least a few years old, who knows it they'll ever publish them. One interesting thing about the site is that it really doesn't have a lot of content to teach you the concepts around the challenges.
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Outside Evaluators

I was planning on writing up all the exciting CS Education work I got to be involved in these past two days but I saw a post on one of the CS discussion forums that got me riled. There's a teacher (name withheld to protect the innocent) who wants to create an advanced course for his students but his administration is requesting an outside measure of accountability. This sounds reasonable on the surface but I found it really insulting.
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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.
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CSTA 2019

So, I got back from CSTA2019 and promptly got a summer cold which laid me up for the past couple of days. Phoenix was beautiful even with it being unbearably hot at times and it's a place I think I'd like to visit again when it's a bit cooler. I said in an earlier post that for me, CSTA is typically more of a person conference and less of a session conference and that held true again.
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Planning For CSTA 2019

Looking forward to flying out to Phoenix for CSTA-2019 Saturday morning. The conference doesn't officially start until Sunday, Monday for me since I'm not doing any of the pre-conference workshops. We'll have most of Saturday as long as we're up to it, Sunday, and Monday morning. Actually, there is the GitHub reception on Sunday evening so that's kind of official conference stuff. As to the conference, I'm super looking forward to it.
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Proof By Authority

No,I'm not talking aboutArgument from Authority - something that very much plagues CS Education and education in general where an annointed few who may, or may not really know what they're talking about are given creedence because they've been there the longest, work for the companies with the biggest names, have the economic backing or otherwise have been given the stage. I'm talking about Proof by Authority which I fondly remember from those silly Proof techniques lists that went around in the day.
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Year in Review - the classes

Now that the semester's over I've had a chance to reflect a bit on my teaching over the past year. This year I taught two classes each semester so the load was a little higher. First semester was one class of our CS0 and one of the lab/enrichment component that goes with CS1. Nothing big to report there as I've done them both before. The biggest difference was that I had to deal with two separate classes even though they're one cohort.
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Grokking Algorithms

Someone mentioned Grokking Algorithms by Aditya Y. Bhargava in one of the CS educator Facbeook groups. It looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a once over. It's certainly an accessible book. Text mixed with cute line drawings, "hand written" text, diagrams and picture.s It reminded me of one of my favorite, most accessible Calculus books Who Was Fourier. Overall I enjoyed the book but I'm not sure what its best audience is.
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Do It First

Reading Garth Flint's end of year post and Alfred Thompson's follow up had me thinking about a couple of things. One was spurred when Garth wrote "They also have to figure out the math before they code." This made me think about all the details we sometimes take for for granted. Things that are hard for our students that we just know. It's frequently math that we might find trivial but it could also be much simpler things.
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