Education

When the students know more than the teacher

We've heard it many times with computer science - "the kids know more than the teacher." On the one hand, the truth is that this isn't so much the case. Kids might use computers all the time but they don't necessarily know much about them or about computer science (link 1, link 2). Then you have students who think they know all about CS but really don't. They might have picked up a bit of coding somewhere but more often than not, the knowledge is pretty superficial.
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Talking about CS teacher certification at CSTA 2018

As I mentioned in my last post, this coming weekend is the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) conference. I've been a member of CSTA since the beginning but this will be only the second time I've made it to the annual conference. The CSTA conference might be the largest conference specifically for k12 computer science teachers and that makes it different from conferences like SIGCSE which is for CS education and education research at all levels or ISTE which seems to be more of an Ed Tech conference.
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Giving control of NYC's specialized schools to a political appointee

Yesterday I shared my thoughts on Bill de Blasio's plans to "fix" the selection criteria for New York City's specialized high schools. If you haven't read the post, you can find it here. I was going to get back to CS and CS Ed related blogging today but there's more to the story. In spite of what BdB stated, it's not enough for him to switch to another measure - the middle school state exam along with some modifiers.
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Changing Admissions to the NYC Specialized High Schools

Yesterday, Bill de Blasio, the current Mayor of New York City outlined how he would "fix" our specialized schools. The schools he was referring to were the "big three" of Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech and then five additional schools - The High School for Math Science and Engineering at CCNY, The High School for American Studies at Lehman, Brooklyn Latin, The Queens Arts and Science High School at York College, and Staten Island Tech.
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Do the students finish the tests or does the test finish the students

I tweeted this the other day: Why don't so many teachers and professors understand that the test or assignment you can do in 15 minutes will take your beginning students at least an hour and probably a lot more to complete. — Mike Zamansky (@zamansky) April 18, 2018 What led to the tweet was a discussion I was having with some students about not having enough time on tests which led to a discussion of having to drop everything to spend every waking hour on a project.
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Tools and Complexity

Alfred Thompson wrote about CS education tools earlier today. I've also been meaning to write on the topic but from a different point of view. I do my best to keep up with the latest and greatest in the CS world both on the academic side as well as the professional one. That's not really possible, but I do my best. When I have a small project to work on I'll some times use it as an excuse to play with some recent technology.
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Ethics In CS Education

I've been meaning to write about ethics in CS education for a while. Probably since I saw this article in the NY Times but got sidetracked. I was reminded when I saw this tweet by Hadi the other day: This message is bigger than Facebook. Computer science faces an ethics crisis. That’s why @codeorg covers ethics and digital citizenship in our computer science courses. (And we’re thankful that most of the largest tech companies support us) https://t.
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On Prestigious Competitons And High Schools

The ACM recently announced this year's winners of the Cutler-Bell Prize in High School Computing. Over on his blog, Alfred Thompson noted that the winners were either from independent or magnet public schools. Alfred also noted that most of the winners of prestigious science competitions like the Regeneron Science Talent Search (nee Intel, nee Westinghouse) were from public magnet schools. In his post, Alfred ruminates on this and wonders "how to we add the flexibility and support to more students at more schools?
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Sigcse2018 Making theory more acccesible

Next up from SIGCSE 2018 is John MacCormick's session on Strategies for Baing the CS Theory Course on Non-decision Problems MacCormicks's stance is that CS theory is tough the first time around and using non-decision problems is a viable approach to make theory more accessible to beginners. As MacCormick said in his paper: ... a decision problem may ask the yes/no question, "Does this graph have a Hamilton cycle?
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How my views on education research were shaped

After reading a couple of comments on my last post where I talked a bit about practitioners vs researchers I thought I'd expand and expound a bit. While there are education researchers that I very much respect, overall, I'm skeptical of education research. Note that I'm not talking specifically about CS Ed research but rather education research in general. Let's go back to the beginning. I entered teaching from industry. Goldman Sachs to be specific.
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