cestlaz

A Teacher Looks at Advent of Code 2020 - Day 2

Day two introduced some staples of staples of not only Advent of Code but also of programming problems in general. The first is input parsing. For this problem you get lines of input like this: 1-3 a: abcde 1-3 b: cdefg 2-9 c: cccccccc or in general number_1-number_2 Letter: String There are a few ways to handle this. One is to brute force it. In Python maybe something like: sample_line="4-15 f:...

cestlaz

CS Teacher Prep - the big picture and the long game.

Time to follow up on my last post and all the surrounding discussion. To be honest, I was a bit surprised at first to see that many posters were all for what I consider a weak program. I think all of us agreed that you want and need a gentle entry - you have to be accessible to teachers with little or even no prior computer science experience but I was taken back by the number of teachers who thought it was fine to have a graduate...

cestlaz

Teachers Can Learn CS and CS people will go into teaching

A friend's post brought my attention to a new graduate CS Education Certificate program. It's not a New York State program so isn't in competition with what I do but it's the type of program that I was afraid of. The type that will hurt CS education more than it will help. There was enough discussion following the Facebook post that I thought I'd write about it here. Before talking about the program itself, one issue that came...

cestlaz

53 trips around the sun

In the 10 plus years of this blog I've never done a post on my birthday. Okay, maybe I've written one on my birthday but never talked about it. Why this year? No particular reason. Maybe because I'm getting older. I'm 53 today. Devorah will turn 54 in a month - from there one year until she can retire. I can follow a year later. I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing but it's nice to know that in two years I'll have a lot of options...

cestlaz

Less Engagement For More

I think many of us are finding student engagement to be one of the more challenging aspects of remote teaching. I sure am. In person it's much easier to have in class discussions. You can read faces and body language, move around the room, encourage cross discussion and, well, you know, teach in the usual sense. Much harder on Zoom. The default behavior isn't a room of people all together but rather a bunch of individual teacher...

cestlaz

Getting the word out on Hunter CS in 2020

As we move through Fall, I'm missing one of the most draining but at the same time one of my favorite parts of the year. School recruiting visits. When I came to Hunter, I started the Daedalus CS Honors program. We started small but now, each year, we take in about fifty students, give them a laptop and a scholarship and all sorts of extras and bring them in for a great CS education at a fraction of the cost of say NYU or Columbia....

cestlaz

School leadership and COVID, or not

Teachers are back and students will soon follow either in person or remote. In person means in person one or two days a week with the rest of the time from home. This of course shows horrible leadership. It fails in terms of education, safety and even freeing up parents to get back to work. After all, if your kid is only in school one or two days a week it hardly allows you to get back to your own full time job. Of course the plan...