[Texas] [python-advocacy] [dfwPython] brainstorming new ways to teach Python 101

Carl Karsten carl at personnelware.com
Sun Aug 8 18:53:10 CEST 2010

I have a 2 hour Python Syntax talk, which is really abou 150 things to enter
at the python prompt, with a few things to say about each.

When is the event?  What is th AV plan?

On Aug 8, 2010 11:49 AM, "Brad Allen" <bradallen137 at gmail.com> wrote:

On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 10:54 AM, Jeremy Dunck <jdunck at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 10:...
> ...
> I see that was Greg Lindstrom.  Do we have any materials he'd prepared
> for that?

No, he didn't have a chance to prepare any Python 101 materials. He
had prepared for "So you just took Python 101; what next?", and I
asked him if he also do the Python 101.  He said he could do it if we
couldn't find any other volunteers, but later, some major work-related
issues came up and he had bow out due to lack of time to prepare. It's
my fault for setting the CFPs date so late (July 15), and asking him
at what amounted to the last minute.

>Are there common 101 materials available from the PSF or
> similar?

I don't know. There are plenty of online Python tutorials which could
be mined for source material (for example, see
http://www.awaretek.com/tutorials.html ) Anyone want to volunteer to
research that and help assemble the appropriate materials?

Right now we don't have enough volunteers involved to make this a
success, so anyone willing to help should step forward.

If you are willing to help with this, add your name as an instructor
or a lab assistant on this wiki page:


I will try to rearrange the schedule so that Python 101 instructors
and lab assistants don't have to miss the talks they are interested in
(that probably means pushing the Rackspace OpenStack talks later...but
let me know and I'll work with you on that).

> How many 101 people are expected?

Arthur answered that earlier in this thread, saying it's expected to
be about 1/3 of attendees who are either beginners or have no Python
experience. However, we don't know how many students will register at
the last minute. We've sent out email announcements to profs asking
them to notify students when they arrive from summer vacation, and
we're planning to distribute flyers next weekend at Baylor.

To help nail this down, I'll encourage people to start putting their
names down on the wiki for the presentations they plan to attend.

> Where are the results of that survey?  Sorry I've only been sporadicly
> paying attention to PyTexas.

The survey results are here:

Arthur's survey analysis is here:

>> One idea for making this work would be to develop a strategy for
>> pairing up the students wit...
> This fits closely with a way of teaching I've been thinking about, but
> I agree the laptop coverage could be an issue.

Use of a pair programming approach could help resolve that. We could
bring some old PCs running Linux to help with that, if we can find
wireless adapters.

We have from 8am-10am on the schedule before any classes and
presentations start, which should give people time to get situated and
hopefully during that time we can also make sure everyone has a
computer, network access, Python installed, etc.

> What about a start-of-class quiz to figure out who is more experienced
> of the group and have that person lead a pair of greener people?

I don't know if a written quiz will make sense in the chaos of
preparatory setup. Probably an informal hand raising will do the job.

> Don't need full coverage that way, and I think small groups of 2 or 3
> would still be useful for collaborating.

Sure, I agree.

> One problem with this is that there will be a bunch of bootstrapping
> issues that can't be waited on -- installing and intro to REPL is one
> of them.  I think front-of-class instruction for the starting stuff
> that can't be deferred would still be useful, with follow-on support
> for people that got lost in that intro.  Otherwise I think the idea is
> pretty good.  Perhaps an add-on would be if people are able to teach a
> topic, they safety-pin that ribbon to their shirt.  Less waving, more
> hailing.

Yes, that sounds great...I'm having visions of our more experienced
attendees covered in dozens of multi-colored ribbons and possibly
medals. Maybe we can also come up with special stackable hats, with
each color or pattern corresponding to an area of expertise. Whoever
leads this session can do it however they want as far as I'm concerned

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