Lightbots: a slight twist to the project

August 12, 2012 at 2:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The 1st week was great! Lightbots 2.0 is definitely a lot of fun. Students got into a lot of discussions on using functions and functions calling functions. Before they began to design their own levels, I asked them to make a quick presentation to the class, about their point of view on the relevance of using Lightbots in a CS Principles course. They also had to add a feature to the software… a Lightbots 3.0!!!

We have started recording reflections consistently. Rich Kick used Google docs last pilot year and found it to be very useful. I am trying to use it in my class this year. So far, the reading has been interesting. Nothing to quote yet, but I am sure the best is yet to come!

In my search for adding more technical information to the content, one area I can easily do that is data – Boolean algebra and the Internet. I am doing research on this as I write this. I will blog more in future. I am also wondering about how I could use Visual Basic as my programming language after Scratch.

I have a new research assistant. Angela Park. Great student!!!  I am truly excited and looking forward to working with her.  Emily was great as my RA last year. She is now pursuing computer science at Georgia Tech. Angela is a Junior and is in my AP Computer Science class. She is a very promising student.

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Back to school… CS Principles – Round II

August 6, 2012 at 2:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

School starts tomorrow. Last week was orientation. I am excited about the students I met during orientation. I have some really bright students and some really hard working ones. Most students seem to be excited to be back. I have an amazing course load this year. I have two sections of CS Principles (the course name for this is Game Design using CS Principles), two sections of AP Computer Science and one section of App Inventor / Java Programming. My class size for CS Principles grew from 30 to 54!  Wish I had more time to celebrate.

My focus is to fine tune the curriculum. I am interested to see how much of last year’s curriculum I reuse and be successful. For example I know I am starting CS Principles again this year with Lightbots. I am going to have the students go through the tutorials, analyze the games and rebuild their own levels. I want to increase the technical level of the project by Friday and isolate as to which learning objectives / Big Ideas I am covering in this project. Perhaps it will be a good idea to have students rate the difficulty level from easy to hard and see what their perception is.

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