Monday, April 26, 2010

TicTacToe makes it to the Simpsons

On last night's Simpson's (season 21, episode 19), they did a parody of children's games films (I think Monopoly and Battleship will actually be made into movies). Appropriate since the project this semester is TicTacToe.
Some favorite lines:
"The one who controls the center controls the board", Dune reference to He who controls the Spice, controls the Universe?
"I love you RomeO", "I love you JulieX". RomeO get crushed by X shaped star ship, JulieX screams "TicTacNoooooo!".
Anyway, that's relevance for ya. Or at least CS projects and pop culture relevance.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


My Technology education and literacy pilot at MS took a very positive step yesterday. We were on MSW, the Microsoft internal website (see pictures below). The turn out was great, and the room was packed. I think we'll get enough interest to start the pilot next year on the right foot. To be continued...

Friday, April 02, 2010

Evolution of CS class tshirts

Over the past few years of CS teachin', I have had some good class shirts bought / made. The first one is pretty obvious. The kids all wore it during their AP CS test. The scores and TShirts agreed.

Think back to the early 2000's, what can make CS cooler than a Hollister class tshirt? Letting the student know that they should relax during the AP test. This laid back approach to AP test taking also worked out pretty well.

Lastly, this year's CS shirt. The black square thing is a 5 inch floppy. The kids in the class have never seen one. Oh well, at least it's on their shirt. I need one that says coach on it.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

CS classroom dynamics

Since I got to teach 2 separate semesters this year, I noticed that class dynamics between the kids affects their learning quite a bit.
The first semester kids were very open and willing to try things, and really into learning about CS. As a result they learned more. The current class of kids were more the traditional good students. They are smart, and great students, but not as open to collaborating with others as the first semester kids. When they get stuck on a problem, they tend to not ask how their classmates approached the problem, but internalize it and wait until I ask them if they are stuck. They are also a little more scared of getting things wrong instead of just trying it out. I'm not sure if this dynamic was there to start with or something I did differently.
Either way, I need to change it and get a more open and collaborative environment going.