EppsNet Archive: Education

If Math Was Taught Like Science

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Now What?

We’re in Berkeley for Casey’s graduation tomorrow . . . we got a text from him earlier this week saying “I just took my last two college exams.” Thus ends a journey that began 17 years ago on the first day of kindergarten, which I feel like I remember too vividly for it to have been 17 years ago, but… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Ask More Questions

You need to ask more questions. I think there’s a general fear about asking questions. There’s a risk of looking foolish in front of the whole group when it turns out that everyone else already knows the answer. It’s actually very unusual for someone to ask a question to which everyone else knows the answer. If you find it happens… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Combating Procrastination

Students had a project due last week and I got a lot of messages and emails asking for help. Of course, when we handed out the assignment two months ago, we advised students not to wait till the last minute to work on it. Teachers and parents saying “Don’t wait till the last minute” is just an understood part of… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: The Last Minute

“Reminder that your projects are due tomorrow so don’t wait till the last minute. Oh wait, this is the last minute.” Deadlines can be fun when they apply to other people . . . View image | gettyimages.com Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Incentives (or Lack Thereof)

According to this article on TechCrunch, “Every California high school must establish computer science courses as part of its core curriculum.” From the same article: “Most California teachers have little or no training to teach computer science.” Do you see the problem there? I’ve been a programmer for many years . . . I’d be glad to teach computer science… Read more →

Big Fishes in Small Ponds

A colleague and I are discussing an article about too many kids quitting science because they don’t think they’re smart, in which Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford, says, among other things: Being a good parent has become synonymous with giving out ability praise. Parents still think this is the greatest gift they can give to their children, and as… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Pro Tips for Finishing a Project

For many (most?) students doing an object-oriented development project for the first time, this assignment is too difficult to do without a lot of guidance. Therefore: ask for help early and often. If you wait till the night before a checkpoint, you won’t have enough time to finish and we won’t have enough time to help you effectively. Therefore: ask… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Ski Week

Corona del Mar High School doesn’t just take Presidents Day off . . . they take the whole week off and call it Ski Week. It’s a total non sequitur in terms of paying tribute to our nation’s greatest leaders. George Washington didn’t ski. Abraham Lincoln didn’t ski. “How do you know Abraham Lincoln didn’t ski?” a student asks. “He… Read more →

Lasts

End-of-winter-break dinner at BJ’s Brewhouse, after which the boy headed back to school for his final semester . . . Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Today Was Not the Best Day to Say What You Just Said

I asked the class to pass in today’s homework and a student said, “I couldn’t figure out what homework was due today.” I wasn’t feeling at my best to begin with. I was tired because I was up late making sure the class website was updated with all relevant materials, homework assignments were listed at the top of the page… Read more →

The Public School Monopoly Provides Little Incentive to Supply Good Education

[The public-school monopoly] is yet another scam that inflicts disproportionately great damage on people who are the poorest and least advantaged. How could it not? Those who run K-12 government schools aren’t paid by customers who voluntarily send their children to those schools and who could easily choose to send their children elsewhere. Instead, these teachers and officials are paid… Read more →

60 Million Students

#HourOfCode had an incredible first year. Thank you to all who helped propel this movement. http://t.co/bHAAWMYJiG. pic.twitter.com/IS1nU89XRe — Code.org (@codeorg) December 29, 2014 Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Those Who Don’t Like to Read

I recommended a couple of books that I’ve read recently and liked — Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman — to the class in case anyone was looking for a book to read over winter break or maybe as a holiday gift. “What if you don’t like to read?” someone asked. “Well, in that… Read more →

Many Have Long Known …

Many in academia have long known about how the practice of student evaluations of professors is inherently biased against female professors. . . . — Amanda Marcotte, “Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male.”   Group A getting better evaluations than Group B is not evidence of bias. Asserting that something is true doesn’t mean it’s… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: No School Before Thanksgiving

There was no school today because a lot of kids don’t like to show up the day before Thanksgiving, so the district decided not to have classes on the day before Thanksgiving. Once they get used to having Wednesday off, they won’t show up on Tuesday and we’ll have to give them Tuesday off. Then of course there’s no sense… Read more →

I’m in Semi-Solidarity with the Protestors

I support the UC Berkeley students protesting tuition hikes but maybe with a little less conviction than I used to because my kid is a senior and no matter how high tuition goes I won’t be paying it anymore so I hope the boy was in class yesterday and not out causing a disturbance . . . Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Exam Tips from the Pros

When I cover something in a review session or study guide, it’s because I know it’s going to be on the test. There were questions during this morning’s test about the workings of several Java methods, all of which were covered in the review session and the study guide. I can’t answer questions like that during the test so if… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Mindset

I’m not comfortable giving people advice that they didn’t ask for, so I usually preface it by saying “Feel free to ignore this . . .” That being said, I want to talk about the mindset I think you should have for this class, maybe for other classes, maybe even for things outside of school. Feel free to ignore this… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Diversity for Girls Only

I called the class’s attention to the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, which honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The website features a photo of a black girl, an Asian girl, a white girl,… Read more →

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