Blog och pod om programmeringsundervisning

Min vän och kollega Rikard Fröberg och jag har sedan en tid skrivit böcker om t ex Java, C, bash, databaser med mera. Detta har vi gjort på wiki.juneday.se. Böckerna används nu på olika kurser på Chalmers, GU och två yrkeshögskolor (IT-högskolan och Yrgo). Pedagogiken bakom böckerna är något som vuxit fram under många år – och efter att ha kännt att man gjort så himla många misstag i rollen som lärare. Vi kommer i bloggen och pod (se nedan) att diskutera pedagogik/didaktik, vanliga misstag och dryfta våra tankar. Men lite vill vi säga nu om vår pedagogik och våra böcker. Vi tillhandahåller videofilmer för att möjliggöra flipped classroom-undervisning och göra det enkelt för studenter att repetera. Vi skriver många övningar, det är inte precis genom att titta på någon spela gitarr som vi lära oss spela gitarr. Övningar är i progression och vi har så klart lösningsföslag.

Nåväl, till saken. Blogen och poden. Även om blogen (https://programmeringspedagogik.wordpress.com/) funnits ett tag är det nu vi kommer jobba med den. Till varje blog kommer vi spela in en pod (http://juneday.podbean.com/) – jo, visst, man vill ju vara modern. Spana gärna in blogen och lyssna på vår podcast. Det finns just nu tre blog/pod-avsnitt:

  1. Getters och setters. Våra tankar om getters och setters, vad de kommer ifrån, varför de inte alltid är så nödvändiga och vad för problem som finns med dem.
  2. Om oss. Vi pratar kort om vilka vi är, varför vi håller på med pedagogik och varifrån namnet Juneday kommer.
  3. Om Arrayer i Java-undervisning. Vi pratar om hur man vanligtvis (över)använder arrayer när man (försöker) lära ut Java.

Sprid gärna information om våra böcker, blog och pod. Vi vill gärna diskutera (på blogen) med lärare och folk som jobbar med utbildning, men även från dig som jobbar med programmering. Framför allt vill ha feedback från proffsen på utbildning: elever och studenter.

Allt vi gör finns här:

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Talking about licenses in Gothenburg tomorrow

Tomorrow (April 23) Rikard Fröberg and I will talk a bit about licenses. We will focus on how you can use FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) in your biz or projects.

After our talk you can see a presentation on the new Beaglebone.

More info (Swedish) here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hackafton-den-234-hos-pelagicore-beaglebone-black-och-licenser-tickets-11218566033

Education. Nevermind – what was it anyway, pt II

This post is a follow up to: Education. Nevermind – what was it anyway, pt I

Why another rant? – I really dunno. Guess I feel like writing 🙂

On exercises and supervision:
This is in my opinion much more important than lectures. Make sure that there’s enough resources for the students during supervision. Waiting 30 minutes to get help is not something that helps or motivates the students.

Make the exercises progress towards the goal. If you make too many exercises few students will complain. If you make too few, most students will complain. I did too few in my last course it seems. Shame on me.

Don’t point out beginner’s mistakes. Discuss the mistakes instead an propose other solutions.

Encourage:

It must be frustrating for a student to see other students learn at a speed much higher than yours. But in some, or perhaps most, cases it’s not true. If student starts the course already knowing parts of it is easy for student without this knowledge to think that he/she is slow, stupid or whatever. In this case we can point out that all students, well most students – there are some wizards, follow the same learning progression and the starting point is the thing that differs. This can be proved by the “weaker” students that often are doing great on the re-exams. That is: they do good results – just a bit later.

Another thing I’ve found to be good is to, during supervision, make the student think about if she would have thought she could write the code you’re looking at? Usually the answer is no followed by a smile. Help them realise that they actually make progress.

Motivate:

Why should they learn to program? Motivating why to know how to program is needed in programs such as Applied IT but probably not needed in Computer Science programs. Give the students some simple examples of problems they can solve by writing programs.

Try to come up with programming exercises that relate to the student’s reality. Sorting bank accounts in order is not fun. It really isn’t. I have created these exercises myself. Shame on me (again!).

Conclusion:

So, given that education is about the student acquiring knowledge my job is to help them doing that. How do I do this:

  • Lectures – leave the old way. Try flipped classroom.
  • Exercises and supervision – spend time here, this is where you can lift students. Focus on:
    • Encourage the students to keep struggling
    • Motivate the students to keep struggling

Next week I will dive into how search engines are used as a study companion while we (teachers) keep thinking that the book is the tool used by the students.

My vinyl player is finally back where it should be

Just put back my vinyl player in place beside the amplifier. My CDs and a computer has been providing me with music for the last couple of years. I have been missing my albums from time to time, but most of my albums I have on CD as well. So I guess I also have missed the feeling of putting on an album on the player, switch on 33rpms and put the needle in position.

The last time I really missed my vinyl player, and when I decided it’s about time to bring it back home, was right after a Thurston Moore concert[1] this summer – after the concert was over I wanted to listen my old Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore solo and Free Kitten albums but realised I “only” had them on vinyl.

And today when helping my mom and dad with moving some garden furniture  I stumbled across my old Daydream nation vinyl (I have two vinyl and one CD of that album) and all other albums I had stored at their place last time my family and I moved. I also quickly found my vinyl player (Thorens). Yes! I brought the player and some 30 albums. Back home I plugged the player in and went through the 30 albums I brought with me. Which one to choose? It felt important to pick the right….

Monster MagnetSpine of god’Sonic YouthDaydream nation‘, Tom WaitsBlue Valentine‘,  Free KittenUnboxed‘ ….

I ended up with a classic album. An album which has mean a lot to me.

Suicidal Tendencies ‘Suicidal Tendencies

ImageThis is the cover art for the album Suicidal Tendencies by the artist Suicidal Tendencies. The cover art copyright is believed to belong to the label, Frontier, or the graphic artist(s). Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SuicidalTendenciesAlbum.jpg

[1].. and by the way. I took some photos during the Thurston Moore concert mentioned above. You can find them on flickr.

(c) Henrik Sandklef

License:AttributionNoncommercialShare AlikeCC by-nc-sa

OS and IDE stats from 2012 Embedded project at Chalmers / Gothenburg University

For the third (fourth?) year we’ve collected some facts on software tool usage from the students during the oral exam of the project Industrial IT and Embedded Systems at Chalmers University of Technology and Gothenburg University.

Question 1. What was your primary IDE/Editor when developing code?

Gedit 15
Eclipse 12
GNU Emacs & clones 21
Notepad++ 6
Vi 1
Xcode 3
Genie 1
Visual Studio 2
Intellij 1
Notepad 1

Question 2. What was your primary OS when developing code?

Windows 17
Mac 11
GNU/Linux 48

The above lumps together all GNU/Linux distributions. Looking separately at the these we get:

Fedora 1
Ubuntu 40
Mint 6
Gentoo 1

Question 3. What was your primary OS when not developing (write documents)?

Windows 38
Mac 12
GNU/Linux 26

41 – an Adams prime number

During a lunch the other day we spoke about the number 41 (which happens to my age (actually today I am turning 41)) and that it is a prime number.

Rikard pointed out that 41 is not  Mersenne primes number, so it seemed to us that 41 is just another ‘boring’ prime. But then Greg pointed out that 41 is equal to 42-1. 42 is a really interesting number, since according to Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) 42 is the answer to….. (well, read the hitchhiker’s guide and you’ll find out). So 41 must be an interesting prime after all. So given the way we name some prime numbers Mersenne we should name all the prime numbers that can be written as 42-1 an Adams prime number.

Now we need to find if there are an infinite number of Adams prime numbers…..