Time to wrap up the SIGCSE 2023 posts. Overall a great conference. The exhibits room was felt a little sparse but from an attendee point of view, not a big deal. Lots of great sessions and got to spend a lot of time with some great people. My only semi-serious complaint would be that this year, sessions were an all or nothing - that is, there were time slots where I wanted to attend two or three sessions and then others where very little appealed to me.# COMMENTS
The final session I wanted to talk about was Nifty Assignments. Nifty has gone from a session that went through the approval process each year until it's popularity ended up with it being a regularly scheduled part of the show.
It used to be my favorite session but it's slipped behind "It seemed like a good idea at the time" and a couple of others this year - including "Microteaching.# COMMENTS
Okay, back to SIGCSE.
Next up, a session titled Microteaching run by Colleen Lewis. Here's the paper: link.
Unfortunately, the paper doesn't do the session justice as the paper briefly describes a small amount of CS subject matter that each session presenter was going to "teach." By "teach," I mean, do a 7 minute mock version of the lesson for the attendees. That's all fine and good but the thrust wasn't really the actual CS content but how it was delivered.# COMMENTS
Next up was a session called Pedagogical Innovations. Good stuff but not really pedagogy. Maybe curricular innovations would have been a better title.
The third session was about virtual summer camps - I had to skip out for that but here's what went on in the first two sessions.
The first session involved professors from Oregon State working with middle school teachers teaching CS through the use of classic physical games.# COMMENTS
On to Friday's "Computing and Liberal Arts" session.
A couple to write about here. One will bring us back to Harvard's CS50 - I'll save that for tomorrow. Today I'll share what Lisa Zhang and her team at the University of Toronto at Mississauga are doing to bring writing into their CS classes.
Most people I speak to agree that in America we don't do a good job teaching writing.# COMMENTS
The next good idea was from David Malan of Harvard's CS50 class. For full disclosure, I have to say that I've been skeptical of CS50 ever since I started hearing from my former students. I've had a lot of them either take CS50 at Harvard, TA the class, or TA the course that follows CS50 and their assessment is, let's say somewhat different than the usual Ted Talk miracle course hype that normally surrounds it.# COMMENTS
The first "good idea at the time" dealt with deadline extensions. The scenario in question was presented by my long time friend Lauren Bricker of the University of Washington although a very similar situation was also presented by of Kristin Stephens-Martinez of Duke. Lauren was one of the few High School teachers with a strong background in CS so she's really a unicorn and it made sense for UW to come calling and snatch her up.# COMMENTS
My new favorite session at SIGSCE is "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Panelists share something they tried in or with their classes that they thought would be awesome. It wasn't. then they shared either how they tried to fix it or left it open ended. It's a lot of fun and for the two years I've attended the most interesting and valuable session.
I wish though, that there was a presenter that shared something about a specific lesson and how that failed - most if not all of the talks I've been to in this session were always a little tangential to the actual class content.# COMMENTS
On top of what I posted yesterday, it looks like I'll add something on Nifty Assignments but as I'm winding down in my Toronto Hotel waiting for tomorrow morning's flight home, I thought I'd share some general thoughts on the conference.
Numbers and perceptions. The announced attendance was around 1500 but that was both in person and remote. It would be interesting to know what the in person numbers were but I'd estimate it was under 1000.# COMMENTS
Long day two at SIGCSE lots of interesting stuff. Don't have the time or energy to write anything up so I thought I'd share a list of topics that I plan to write up in the next few days or weeks.
After day 1's keynote and the session on the ACM's 2023 curriculum I went to "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time" which is my new favorite session replacing "Nifty Assignments.# COMMENTS