Friday, July 16, 2021

Notes on Day Three of #CSTA2021

No morning help desk duty for me today so I watches the whole “Morning Java” session. For those of you not at CSTA, Moring Java was an introduction to the day with our conference chairs and guests. Today.Michelle Lippoli, Senior Operations Manager (Events and Membership) for CSTA, talked about all the work that goes into running a conference like this one. And it is a lot of work! Next year CSTA will be in-person in Chicago. There is a lot of excitement about being able to meet in-person but I hope we have the virtual option as it makes the conference possible for so many more people.

First session of the day for me was Nifty Assignments. Though I was tempted by Python and Micro:bit…on a Calculator? and I will look for the video in the future. Nifty is a conference favorite. The idea started at SIGCSE (See more on that here) and I have used projects from previous sessions at CSTA and SIGCSE.

Michele Lombardi - Unplug the Internet!  9-12
Review internet vocabulary, how messages are sent, and introduce potential cyber attacks using this unplugged internet simulation.

I’ve done something similar but I love the forms she uses and the other information about things to do.

Cindy Gonzalez - Bring your 3D world to life!  K-5
Design a 3D design in Tinkercad, upload your design to Cospace, code your design & enter your 3D world using the DoInk Green Screen app

Talk about making students creators and not just consumers. I love the cross curriculum opportunities.

Roger Jaffe - RSA Encryption Without the Math  9-12
How to teach RSA encryption without having to teach the math

I struggle with teaching public key encryption so this set of resources looks very exciting to me. I can see using this lesson in Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles.

Learn more about CSTA Nifty Assignments at:

After Nifty Assignments, I attended Teach Cybersecurity. Change the Future/ (Slide deck here) Did you know that there are guidelines for what to teach about cyber security? There was a lot of discussion about teaching cyber security in the chat. A lot of teachers are, not unreasonably I think, worried about students misusing the knowledge. The Teach Cyber program, and every other program I have looked at, included ethical thinking integrated into the curriculum. This is a curriculum worth looking into if you are thinking about adding a cyber security course.

Last mini session of the day for me was My CSP Experiment – teaching Advanced Placement CS Principles with two different programming languages at the same time (JavaScript/AppLab and Python) This teacher developed a detailed scope and sequence with dates and time and then mapped the concepts to unites from different curriculum programs (, CodeHS and others) Concepts were taught largely with pseudo code and unplugged activities. That was a lot of work. I really admire her skills. (Slides are here)

Well, that’s a wrap for me. It’s been a great conference and I learned a lot. I’m glad I don’t have to travel for hours to get home.

No comments: