Iffy Understanding

Beginner CS students are quick to accept the concept of conditional statements — if <conditional> then do <something>. A lot of instruction about coding conditionals starts with real life examples of if-statements. That’s where I think the weak understanding begin… 1. if isLessonOnConditionals { 2. useBadExamples() 3. } The root concept of conditionals is program […]

A Problem with Problem Solving

When trying to teach problem solving as a process, students are very resistant to approaching it systematically. They love guess and check. As an example, try to solve this quick simple word problem: A bat and ball cost $1.10 The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

The Field of CS Ed

For Computer Science to be introduced and integrated into all K-12, the field of Computer Science Education needs to continue developing. Last Thursday, ~40 CS Ed star players met to share their “playbook” for advancing the game. I was fortunate enough to attend the release of their report entitled “Priming the Computer Science Teacher Pump”. […]

Maybe Teaching CS Isn’t Just Hard…

I have often assumed that the challenge of teaching CS was a matter of limited experience and significant complexity. Experience: almost all students come in without ever learning anything about computer science, whereas every other high school class is a continuation of a subject the student has been learning about for 8 years prior. Complexity: […]

Even Small Customizations

Research in “Creativity, Customization, and Ownership…” by Schanzer, Krishnamurthi, and Fisler suggests that customization within programming projects can have impactful effects on student ownership/pride. “… even small amounts of customization… are sufficient to get students to view their games as different from those of others” My Intro CS students are working on a navigation project. […]