[Edu-sig] Tips for wandering faculty

Chuck Allison chuck at freshsources.com
Wed Apr 26 19:52:44 CEST 2006

ku> I like this segment for another reason:  unlike some educators, I have
ku> no interest in "shielding" my students from the gross reality of some
ku> hunkering OS, complete with kernel, GUI resources and whathaveyou.

But novices can handle only so much. I agree that we don't want to
create artificial worlds, but we must take care on how much and what
we present on day 1. The surest way to lose students is to talk about
things they don't understand and see no need for. Kernels are not day
1 material (for anyone).

The other issue, of course, is the variety of learning paradigms. Some
people are more visually oriented than others. When I taught Python to
adult testers last year we didn't need a visual approach (although we
used Komodo for easy development). But when my 14-year old nephew last
year said, "Uncle Chuck, teach me to program!", I had his attention
for 30 seconds and then he was gone because I had nothing graphical
(i.e., Alice-like) for him to play with. He just could not grasp
typing 2+3 at the command-line ad getting 5 out. Who cares about a
linear conversation with a computer console?

Best regards,

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