Submitted by lishevita on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 13:45
Submitted by lishevita on Wed, 10/10/2012 - 13:27
I spent the month of August in Seattle where I taught a series of Introduction to Web Development classes at the hackerspace Jigsaw Renaissance with help from Budi Mulyo.
I teach programming languages very much like I teach human foreign languages. After all, as Larry Wall points out in his introduction to the famous O'Reilly book Learning Perl, programming languages are human languages. So, rather than teach a lot of deep concepts about how the computer uses memory or the theory behind what the computer is doing behind the scenes, I simply get students to read and write code as quickly as possible. Once they start to feel comfortable writing bits of code, I ease into the theory about what's happening when the computer interprets that code.
With this Intro to Web Dev course, we started from scratch. The students ranged in age from 17 to fifty-something. Most people showed up with no experience in programming or scripting of any form. Only one or two people in the room had any useful code editing software on their laptop. So the first thing I needed to do was recommend a code editing app for each student based on which operating system they were on. They needed to install it, and then we were off to the races.
Submitted by lishevita on Sat, 10/06/2012 - 14:12
You may be running a Hangout as part of an organization, but problems will ensue if you try to run your Hangout from within a Page.
A Page is an organizational Google+ site, and it is different from your individual Google+. This can get confusing, so let me explain it in the context of the Teachers’ Conference show so that you understand exactly what I mean.
Teachers’ Conference is produced by School Factory, so it ought to be in a Hangout created by a School Factory account. I have my personal Google+ profile, but it doesn’t make sense to be using that for my School Factory work. Instead, I can sign in to Google+ with my schoolfactory.org Google Apps acount and use that to run the Hangout.
Submitted by lishevita on Wed, 09/05/2012 - 05:33
Sometime in the next few hours my 509 area code phone number will stop working. You can still reach me at my 425 area code phone number.
If you do not have my 425 area code phone number and think that you should have it, email me. My gmail username is lishevita.
Submitted by lishevita on Mon, 08/27/2012 - 20:41
The term "White Privilege" is a controversial one, and I know that it will anger some of my readers. That's OK, since no one ever comments on my posts anyway. (Though I may hear about it in person later...)
Today's "If you're privileged and you know it clap your hands" moment comes from the reading of a blog post about another woman who has made some radically awesome decisions in her parenting and hasn't been as lucky as I. She was born black. That means she must not be as good a parent.
Oh, no wait. That's not what it means. So, why have social services stepped in and taken her kid away, investigated her, and generally made her life miserable?
Submitted by lishevita on Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:14
Yesterday I had a delightful conversation with Sabine Blanc at Owni.fr. During the conversation we hit on the issue of people who do not get their education in Computer Science who learn code. She sent me a link to a blog post that she wrote back in June 2011 about her experiences learning HTML and CSS. It's a great post that compares literature to code and plays with re-writing literature in the form of code, showing how programming languages and human languages follow rules in similar ways. The point of the story is, "Yes, you CAN learn to code." (And you all know how much I love "Yes, you can" stories"!)
Right at the end of the post she has a little disclaimer:
NB : oui oui, html et css, c’est pas du code au sens pur du terme, mais on n’avait que ce livre sous la main.
Translation: "Yes, yes, HTML and CSS is not code in the pure sense, but it was the book I had at hand."
Submitted by lishevita on Fri, 07/27/2012 - 17:56
During the Learning Through Science Workshop on July 13-15, I learned of a teaching tool called "microvoices". James Carey, a University of California at Davis professor, described how he uses this technique to help students deeply process the information that they are receiving. The idea is to encapsulate a complex idea into 25 words or less.
One example that was given was an assignment with a graph that might be difficult to understand. The students were asked to explain exactly what the graph was telling them in 25 words or less. Then, rather than simply turning those in to the teacher to be graded, the explanations were passed to other students to be peer-reviewed. In this way, students could learn from each other as well as from their own attempts to comprehend the graph.
This idea intrigues me.
Submitted by lishevita on Wed, 05/16/2012 - 03:22
Have you been thinking that it would be cool to know how to write web pages from scratch? Maybe you want to tweak a little HTML here and there on a blog post or on your profile at your favorite social media site. Or would you like to learn how to do the really deep stuff and program the software that makes the Web go?
I'll be teaching a series of three classes starting Tuesday May 22 to get you up and running with all the fun.
May 22: HTML in One Hour
No kidding. You will know absolutely everything you need to know about HTML in just one hour. And then you get to play for an hour with helpful teacherly guidance and peer support.