Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Visual Studio Live Share–Something CS Teachers Can Use?

Microsoft is having their big MS Build event this week. I don’t have time to watch it live but I have been seeing hints of things via social media. Most of what they are talking about it for professional developers and is far more advanced than what I have time to get to with my students. But sometimes there are things I can really use. Visual Studio Live Share looks to be one of those things.

With Visual Studio Live Share two people can actually look at and work on the same code at the same time. Merge that with a Skype call and it is like being there. Think Google Docs for Visual Studio. (Someone will object to that characterization for sure.)

So far I have just tried it locally (two computers next to each other with me operating both) but I can see some educational uses. For one thing I can see sharing code with students and having them work on code I have on the screen from their own desks. I can also see easier pair/team working in rooms that don’t lend themselves to a lot of student movement. My tables don’t move and things can get crowded if people mover around too much.

I can also see using it to help students with their own work. Now in the classroom it may still make more sense to walk over to where the student is working. On the other hand if a student is working from home we now have a great way to work together.

I’ve been thinking about using it to watch students as they code (with their permission and their controlling the share) from time to time. That may give me some insights without being quite as intimidating as literally looking over their shoulder. For those students who pretend to be working this may be just the thing.

There are likely to be more ideas that others come up with. Time will tell. At least for now I have a few ideas worth trying out. What do you think? Do you see some educational potential?

1 comment:

Mike Zamansky said...

I've played around with Floobits - https://floobits.com/ - which does this but works on multiple platforms - Emacs, Neovim, Sublime, Atom, IntelliJ

It was cool but haven't used it all that much.