Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Learning From My Students

Being back in the classroom has been a learning experience for me. For one thing I have had to learn a bit of Processing (the IDE) as students had been using it prior to my coming in as a replacement teacher. That’s been fun actually. And learning Processing has been on my to-do list for a while. It’s a pretty useful tool and makes graphics programming in Java almost as easy as C#/Visual Basic and the .NET library.

I have had to get reacquainted with Java as well. That’s more of a refresher than a new learning but students have given me some fresh insights into using it. One of the disadvantages of having programmed for so long is that my mindset is, to some extent, stuck in old ways of thinking. Take for loops for example. I am rather stuck in the idea that the comparisons in a for loop are just simple single Booleans when of course the Boolean expression can be a lot more complicated than that. My students are not as stuck so they suggest various options. That has been helpful in broadening my thinking.

CodingBat is a web site I have come to appreciate as well. I’ve known about it for a long time of course but never used it before because I wasn’t teaching either Java or Python. It includes a lot of very good projects that make for great homework being web based. It’s a little like Code Hunt, which sadly no longer exists. CodingBat is easier for beginners to use though which is a plus.  I found it very useful and recommend it to other teachers.

For one course I have had to review my knowledge of some data structures. Again, a refresher rather than all new learning but I think I picked up some things I either forgot or never knew. (Memory is a fickle thing)

I’ve also learned some things about teaching but that will be another post at a later date.

1 comment:

Garth said...

CodingBat is sort of fun, in a very geeky way. Of course the syntax switch from C# to Python is killing me since I have been doing a lot of C# with Unity.