I always enjoy Fred Wilson's predictions for the new year over on his blog and this year was no exception.
I was inspired to think a bit on his education prediction:
K12 systems around the US (and around the world) faced with teacher shortages and desperate to erase several years of learning shortfalls, will increasingly adopt online learning services in the school building in lieu of and in addition to in-class learning.
I've been teaching in person for about a month now so I thought I'd give a quick update on how it's going. I've written before about my feelings on how Hunter started the semester (TL;DR - I was very displeased) but that's not the point of this post. As of today, I believe every student has been required to be stabbed at least once and on October 11, all students must be fully vaccinated to be on campus.
Following up on my last post.
Soon after I read that tweet, I read Julia's post on hash tables. This got me thinking more about what is and isn't taught in school. Hash tables were always taught in CS programs but back in the day you might not have used them much after your data structures or algorithms classes. Nowadays you're much more likely to use them as they're built in to so many platforms.
I saw this tweet by Julia Evans the other day.
if you've been working in computing for > 15 years -- are there fundamentals that you learned "on the job" 15 years ago that you think most people aren't learning on the job today?
(I'm thinking about how for example nobody has ever paid me to write C code)
— 🔎Julia Evans🔍 (@b0rk) September 9, 2021 I've never met Julia but have been following her on Twitter and reading her blog for some time now.
Well, we just delivered the last formal piece of instruction for the summer intensive. Writing this post between visits to breakout rooms as the cohort works on their final projects.
Tomorrow and Thursday will be presentation time. Each group will give spend thirty minutes teaching us all about some topic in CS along with the plan for how we could teach the topic to our kids. We've got a few more things to talk about as a group but it's mostly time to sit back and enjoy the show.
Time for some thoughts after week 2.
Since this is the inaugural edition of our program and there was no way to really know what the cohort would be like we've been adjusting on the fly. This was expected but we're finally starting to settle in. We're still finding more zoom heavy days but as we move towards the end of our data structures segment there should be fewer of those.
Time for an update on our NY State Teacher Certification Program. We kicked off on Monday. Twenty two students working with three instructors from 9:00 - 3:00 every day. We've been using a combination of synchronous with Zoom and async using Slack and GitHub discussions. We're using GitHub as our main platform.
Day 0 was very Zoom heavy but we're trying to balance one big Zoom session a day combined with other work so as to minimize fatigue.
As many of you know, the CS Education programs I designed here at Hunter were finally approved by NY State late last year. We're planning to get started this summer. I've received many questions about the program and will write up the details here sooner or later but one question I frequently get is "will it be offered online?" This is also something I've been asked more than once internal to Hunter.
Every few years the experts give us some new magic bullet, some new teaching fad research based pedagogical technique. Teachers are trained in it, forced to use it - frequently as a one size fits all. If we do, we're good teachers, if we don't we get the dreaded ineffective on our annual ratings.
I was reminded of this when reading Mark Guzdial's recent blog post on things he got wrong in Computing Education.
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.