Southern Man

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Teaching CS1 WIth Processing Workshop Day 1

The workshop is about teaching the introductory programming course with Processing, which is an open-source language that's used for visual programming such as images and animations. It basically sits on top of Java,a popular language in which it's already fairly easy to do graphics, and makes those graphics even easier. In particular, hides the complexities of threads and allows the programmer to easily create simple animations. Southern Man will consider using it for his CS1 course as the visual feedback will help students quickly understand the use of loops and branches.

That said, Southern Man will now fuss about the workshop itself as he has high (well, high-ish) standards for such things. In particular:

    No computers provided; everyone has to use their own laptop.
    No hard-wired network; if your laptop doesn't have wireless networking, too bad.
    No books provided. Southern Man expects free books with his workshops.
    Box lunches. When a workshop says "lunch provided" he expects a hot meal.
    Poor preparation. The presenters seem to be making it up as they go along.
    Poor schedule. The sessions are short, with no night labs at all.
    Poor organization. They didn't even have nametags for us.

    And SMU had only one geocache on campus. One. That's pathetic
OK, so that last item isn't their fault but the organizers get low marks for, well, their organization. But they mean well and other than the above it's been a lot of fun.


At Friday, January 06, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

South Guy I did it!!! I went out with some friends did a little geocashing. I got to keep the tin whistle and Sandy left a 1928 dime which is her trade mark when she finds the goal. It was so fun to do. What have you found? What do you leave? I am so pumped.

At Saturday, January 07, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the reasons I finally broke down and bought a laptop was that the conference I went to in October had no machines. Everyone was expected to have a laptop, and the people I talked to expressed surprise that I was surprised. Evidently that is becoming the norm.

But no nametags? Gee whiz. All they needed to do was buy stickers that said "Hello, my name is" and provide some markers.

Girl Programmer


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