Friday, March 04, 2022

SIGCSE 2022 Day 2

The morning keynote was by Barbara Ericson. She talked about a lot of her early work including some of her online books CSAwesome and her work with the free online CS textbooks at Runestone Academy. I need to look at these some more She also talked a lot about Parsons Problems - a subject I am really interested in. One project is Sisters Rise Up which provides mentorship for women taking AP courses. She’s got a lot going now as well. She is an inspiration.

First Paper Session:Trends in CS Teacher Professional Development: A Report from the CSTA PD Committee. A lot of CS teachers are experienced teachers but not experienced in CS. Teachers want PD but it can be hard to find. The PD committee is evaluating and accrediting CS Ed professional development. You can see their efforts at the CSTA web site

Next up was Detecting Struggling Students from Interactive eBooks Data: A Case Study Using CSAwesome This talk was by Barbara Ericson and was about data from ebooks on Runestone and CSAwesome. Barb was able to collect a lot of data.  Students don’t watch videos to completion a lot which doesn’t surprise me that much. A lot of information in this talk. I recommend reading the actual paper. (Available for free for a limited time) I really need to look at these ebooks and see if they are something I can/want to try and create myself.

Last of my morning papers was Who Belongs in Computer Science? This study looked at middle school students to see what their perception was of computer scientists and how that impacted their feeling of belonging. In brief, boys and girls had the same perceptions but girls didn’t see themselves in what they perceived as being a computer scientist.

I took advantage of the “hallway track” to talk to Aman Yadav (author of the paper above) about the importance of CS teachers talking about race and computing. We need students to understand how bias works its way, usually unintentionally, into software. Both white and non-white students need to know about this. We clearly need a diversity of involvement in computing if we are going to have a chance as software that is fair to all.

After lunch, a GitHub Supporter Session: Scale your classroom with GitHub Classroom and Codespaces. A tough decision as there was also a panel I was interested in attending. I was curious about GitHub though so … The features of GitHub classroom including connections to LMSs, automated assignment distributing, auto grading and more seem pretty exciting. I also like the idea that students will create GitHub repositories that can act as a portfolio. The demo was great. I have set up a GitHub Classroom but I need to play around and try some things before I feel like I can use it. I think I need to create a “student account” as well. We’ll see how much time I can put to it.

Next up was a Microsoft Supporter Session: Core developer tools for your computer science classroom because I wanted to  see what Microsoft was promoting for educators to use for teaching CS. That was once my job.

They started with talking about VS Code and VS Code Coding packs are a tool to make it easy for students to set up a development environment. They are available to set up VS Code for Java, Python, and .NET. The packs for .NET and Java are available for both Windows and MacOS.

Next up was Development Containers and which is a web past development environment so no installation is needed. This combination makes it easy to ensure that all students have the same development environment. This looks pretty cool for bring your own devices schools. There was a lot presented in a short period of time. I need to dig into some of these things on my own.

Over all a great day for me. I have some things to look through tonight.

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