Policy

Teachers Pay Teachers - part 2 - the report

Continuing from yesterday, what about the article and report on pay and free teacher resources. The report looked at three sources - one pay and two free. They came up with a number of results but I think they largely missed the point. Their bottom line conclusion was that 'Overall, reviewers rate most of the materials as “mediocre” or “probably not worth using”.' They also didn't seem to find that neither the for profit or free sources were universally better.
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Teachers Pay Teachers - part 1 - should they

There was a bit of buzz a couple of months ago when Amazon announced an online marketplace for educational resources. It wasn't a new concept - on the pay side, Teachers Pay Teachers has been around for a while and in terms of free, there are many online resources but they're not necessarily well organized or curated. What was the buzz? Should teachers be charging their peers for class materials or should they be providing them for free.
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Education is not a spectator sport

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.
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Pushback To CS for All

On the last day of 2019, Audrey Waters wrote a great piece on The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade. I agree with most of them but felt it was worth looking at a one in particular. Specifically number 6 - "Everyone Should earn to Code." I might dive in to some others later but we'll stick with number 6 for today. I read over these right after reading two recent posts by Alina Adam's son Gregory - a sophomore at Stuyvesant High School over on Alina's blog questioning NYC's CS For All initiative.
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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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Why the Thomas Friedman's editorial on the College Board's Two Codes left me concerned

There was some buzz over this editorial about the College Board last week. The two codes every child needs - Coding and the US Constitution? Who could argue with that. I'm not going to disagree. Civics and CS are important and can't wait until college. The thing that left me chilled though was that nobody's paying attention to the fact that the College Board - a private entity with its own interests has so much influence over American education.
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Tech Jobs, Diversity, and Equity in the wake of the Amazon/NYC debacle

I was planning on either following up on how I use GitHub classroom or commenting on the recent NY Times opinion piece on the College Board but the follow up, fall out, and polarization from the Amazon NY thing has been stuck in my head so I thought I'd write a bit more about it. Like my previous post, this isn't really about Amazon but rather about the long game, equity, and diversity and how a lot of people are fooling themselves.
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No Amazon HQ2 in NYC

That was the big tech news today. I know there was a good deal of vocal outrage about the deal but to be honest I was pretty surprised by the news. Normally deals like these get steamrolled through for better or worse. I have decidedly mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I have no problem with Amazon - I've got a bunch of former students working there. Mostly in Seattle but at least one in NYC.
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Early Ap Registration - it's, um, for the kids

I stumbled upon a thread over in the APCS-A Facebook group the other day. It seems that the College Board is making some changes in their registration timeline. In the past, students registered for the exam sometime in March with the exams administered in May. The new changes include requiring registration in November along with $40 late registration and cancellation fees. The College Board is, of course, spinning this as for the student's benefit.
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Creating a school for CS

Do we really need CS focused high schools? That's the question Alfred Thompson asked partly in reaction to my post talking about Bill Gates' visit to AFSE, a NYC public school with a CS focus. On both posts, Michael Preston shared some important and good points about AFSE as a starting point and gateway that helped lead to CS4All in NYC and also specifically about AFSE. In response to Alfred's question I thought it was time I shared a bit about what I was pushing for AFSE back when I was involved.
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