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CSESI 2009

jd's picture

Hello all, and welcome again to another year of the summer institute in computer science education.

MON: We have another good turnout (I count 15 attendees already), and after my brief logistical discussion (yeah on FRI), Paul Grobstein of Bryn Mawr College is discussing the role of computing in education.  The talk touches many sub-topics, but in general his thesis appears to be that computing provides a mechanism for student to really become teachers themselves.

Paul really has some cool images to get people to discuss how our brain work, even "lie" to us, and how that might inform our teaching.  The flashing sign from Hofstadtler is intersting (although no one said my observation, that the two signs are constantly swapping :-) -- also, there was much dscussion about the story of the "ant."

Tom Cortina of CMU is already here, preparing for another ound of CS Unplugged -- weather permitting, we might even get outside!  (and thanks to CS Unplugged for the "shout-out!") -- Tom started by assuring the participants that "we don't need no stinkin' lab!"

The "Bit-Players" (photo pending) did great representing numeric values as BITs (BInary digITs); the counting is tedious.

TUES: Tom Way of Villanova performed well, providing a neat bag of trick =s for all educators to use in their classes to introduce computing and otehr academic concepts (though the straightjacket trick is hard to apply) -- thanks Tom.

WED: Adelaida Alban Medlock of Drexel prosented a quick overview of Alice 3 -- however, the SW is in Beta and hard to load and use on the ol' machines in the lab; furthermore, most of the participants hav not yet used Alice, so we all agreed that we should start with that stable version first.

The afternoon saw Michael Littman of Rutgers demonstrating his use of Scratch, and how he also composes songs and "performs" them in the virtual world -- his YouTube channel contains all the videos.

THU: Peter DePasquale of TCNJ is providing a nice overview of web tools for teachers (and other professionals) to help eitehr save time or waste time with cool stuff ;-) -- seriously, I can see how these tools can make life on the Web easier and more productive (includeing Doodle, ChaCha, ...).

After a fresh salad lunch (you had to ry it!), Dora Wong of Haverford's Science Library presented more online tools for education, including the Kindle (using Amazon downloads) and Twitter.