CSTA like so many great conferences is as much about learning from face to face informal conversations as it is about formal sessions. I’ve been able to talk with a bunch of CS teachers about a bunch of topics. The picture on the right is me, Mike Smith (who I met for the first time) and Laura Blankenship who is one of my favorite CS bloggers.
My first session of the day was about the CS Principles course. Several teachers who were part of the official pilot talked a out how they implemented in their schools. Since it was a pilot course there was a lot of mid course corrections as things that worked well in theory turned out not to work so well in practice. These pilot teachers have done a lot of work that will contribute to a good course as things are finalized before it becomes an actual APCS course.
My third session of the day was also about CS Principles (sense a thread?) during which the team from CODE.ORG talked about the CS Principles curriculum that they are developing.
My second session of the day? Peli de Halleux from Microsoft Research talking about Code Hunt. He showed us how to create our own puzzles and how to integrate Code Hunt into interactive presentations using Office Mix. This combination shows a huge amount of potential. I hope to use it to help students get more coding practice as well and honing their problem solving skills.
The end of the day was a keynote by Michael Kölling which was awesome. He showed a brief demo of some work they are doing with Greenfoot that is a mix of keyboard and graphical programming. I believe it was recorded and when the video is available I will link to it because I don’t think I can do his talk justice.
Overall a great conference and I am really glad I was here. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference.