Don’t Panic

The other day I was looking through the analytics for this blog to see what sort of searches people were doing that let them here. Mostly I was seeing things I expected to see but one stuck out. Someone had searched for the string “i am scared of programming.” I suspect that the searcher was…

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Recursion First

I’ve long had mixed feelings about recursion. (I’ve written about recursion several times in this blog.) In one post, Recursion Early, Recursion Late, I wrote about the suggestion that recursion be dropped from a first programming or computer science course. In another post I asked if it should be added to a list of Four…

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So you want to teach computer science?

A number of years ago after being laid off from a job developing software I went into teaching. I taught a year in a pair of elementary schools and then spent 8 years teaching high school computer science. It was awesome. One day I want to get back into the classroom full-time. Over the years…

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Learning Should Be Fun

Years ago I was sitting the the front of church and via a fluke of acoustics I heard a little girl in the back of the church tell someone “Stop laughing! It’s Sunday!” Apparently she thought that because Sunday, especially at church, was serious business it should not be fun or happy. Not quite my…

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Fun is to Entertainment as Education is to Training

How often have you heard a teacher say something to the effect that their job is not to entertain? My guess is pretty often. I know I have heard it a lot. Teachers jobs are to educate. What bothers me though is that learning should be fun! I just love to learn. That is why…

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Round 1 Finalists for 2012 Microsoft Partners in Learning Forum

The big news for me yesterday was at Finalists Announced for Round 1 of the Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum. I attended this event as a judge last year and learned an incredible amount from these amazing teachers. This first round announced 44 teachers representing 32 projects from across 15 states. Applications are…

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Better Learning Through Movement

And fun as well. Recently a co-worker sent me a link to some videos that were done by the Houston Independent School District about the pilot program they are running in several elementary schools. These schools are using video games involving the Kinect Sensor to help teach. And not just physical education which is sort…

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Plagiarism v. Learning

The SIGCSE mailing list has been having a very active discussion of plagiarism in computer science classes of late. These discussions seem to recur with disappointing regularity. If not in the SIGCSE list they show up on the APCS mailing list. These discussions tend to follow some very predictable paths. They start with attempts at…

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How Young Can/Should You Start Teaching Programming?

Or perhaps how young should you try? And to top if off, why do you want to start them so young in the first place? I received the following from a teacher friend of mine the other day and it has had me thinking ever since. Can you please tell me why anyone thinks it…

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Textbooks–The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

I was reading through a couple of blog posts by Garth Flint earlier today. I’ve been using some of my vacation time to catch up on blog reading and had put off reading some of Garth’s posts until I had time to do it right. Garth is one of those people who uses his blog…

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