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best practice - Note-taking policy: laptops, or by hand? - Computer Science Educators Stack Exchange
I made sure every student had a Hipster PDA, which cost almost nothing as the U was happy to give each student a binder clip and they were happy enough to go in together to purchase the cards. Students were encouraged to put a sentence or two on a (fresh) card when they heard a key idea. For the last minute or so of each class I'd ask a few students to read to me from the cards of the day one key idea from the lecture (though it wasn't usually true lecturing). I might comment, usually, just by saying yes or no (or maybe YES). At the beginning of the next class I'd ask for the three most important ideas from the previous class. Or perhaps, ask for a one sentence summary of the previous lecture. Out come the cards...

I also encouraged the students to prepare a summary card for each lecture. Just one card. Just a couple of sentences, not the tiny print we used to use when allowed to bring a sheet of notes to an exam (remember that?). Just big ideas.

Moreover, I encouraged students to use the pda in other courses and to carry it about with them. They spent time on subways, generally, so the pda provided an easy way to review the day's activities and learning or prepare for the upcoming day. The valedictorian in my undergraduate class used this trick. He was never without a few cards for review.

Students don't need to capture every word in most cases and if they really do, then give it to them straight. I'm sure you heard the joke "The purpose of a lecture is to transmit the instructor's notes to the student's notebook without going through the mind of either." Make it active. With my students it was actually kind of campy - an in-group ritual.

Note that I also lectured from my own hipster pda and kept a card for each student, etc.
notetaking  education  learning  hipsterpda 
june 2019 by kme
The role of instructors in teaching programming — Python for Biologists |
This is another aspect of programming that experience tends to render invisible: when you encounter a roadblock in programming and need to ask for help, very often it's difficult to know how to phrase the question. The lack of understanding that causes the student to need help in the first place also ensures that they're unlikely to know what question to ask, or the right way to phrase it.

Of course, later on in the learning process it usually becomes clear how mindblowingly useful programming is (and I purposefully structure my courses to get students to this point sooner rather than later). Nevertheless, one of the biggest problems many students have when learning programming is simply running out of steam and becoming demoralized – a process that is usually triggered by encountering yet another roadblock.
programming  teaching  learning  computing  workshop  advice  bestpractices 
february 2019 by kme
In Search of a Middle Path for Ed Tech – Trinket Blog |
Audrey’s an insightful commentator on the industry, history, and rhetoric surrounding education on Hack Education and the forthcoming Educating Modern Learners. Trained as a folklorist, she’s quick to point out when she thinks the stories surrounding companies or technologies have overshot their realities.

Frank’s posts on Khan Academy led me to his posts on pseudo-teaching, which I’m still working my way through. Briefly, pseudo-teaching is a phenomenon where students can self-report that a teacher was effective, they have confidence in their understanding, and enjoyed learning. But objective measures of understanding show their actual abilities lagging behind. This is an excellent example of the kinds of insights that ed tech too often overlooks, and one I’m fortunate to have encountered so early in trinket‘s time.
education  thefuture  learning  teaching  pseudoteaching  edtech 
january 2018 by kme
How I learned to program
This also seems to be true for most people I know. For example, something I’ve seen a lot is that a friend of mine will end up with a manager whose view is that managers are people who dole out rewards and punishments (as opposed to someone who believes that managers should make the team as effective as possible, or someone who believes that managers should help people grow). When you have a manager like that, a common failure mode is that you’re given work that’s a bad fit, and then maybe you don’t do a great job because the work is a bad fit. If you ask for something that’s a better fit, that’s refused (why should you be rewarded with doing something you want when you’re not doing good work, instead you should be punished by having to do more of this thing you don’t like), which causes a spiral that ends in the person leaving or getting fired. In the most recent case I saw, the firing was a surprise to both the person getting fired and their closest co-workers: my friend had managed to find a role that was a good fit despite the best efforts of management; when management decided to fire my friend, they didn’t bother to consult the co-workers on the new project, who thought that my friend was doing great and had been doing great for months!
education  programming  careerpath  learning  workplace  management 
april 2017 by kme
teaching - How to deal with a very weak student? - Academia Stack Exchange
@Malvolio Unfortunately, in theoretical courses, cheating tends to be fairly rampant among all students. The university administration tends to turn a blind eye towards it too, because 1. it would affect most students, and 2. unless there are concrete evidence, it is very hard to prove that the student was cheating. So instead, many people make the homework worth very little of your grade, 10-15%, and the rest are tests. – Sana Oct 1 '16 at 14:30

I haven't seen this point mentioned yet:

She is a transfer student from a community college, and no one else has any data on her as this is her first semester

When she does not understand a concept, she bring her notes and says that the class was unclear and that I should explain it again to her

her idea of academic improvement is to consistently show up to my office hour and listen to me talk

She is doing things that work well in secondary school (a.k.a. high school) - she's working hard on her homework and making maximum use of your office hour, and so on. She probably thinks she's working hard and doing well. In school, the exam questions tend to test whether you've learned exactly what was told, not more.

But at some point a student has to learn that university isn't secondary school. It's much more about working on your own than about absorbing from a teacher. Not everybody knows that when they start. She doesn't realize she needs to change her way of studying.

So I think you could also have a conversation on that, she's there in your office anyway.
teaching  learning  studying  education  academia  cheating  insightful  forthecomments 
january 2017 by kme
teaching - What are the benefits of an oral exam? - Academia Stack Exchange

Scores on the oral examinations in advanced inorganic chemistry are usually about 15–20% higher compared to scores on written examinations over similar material. All students who performed at an unsatisfactory level on the first quiz in the introductory course earned a satisfactory mark after taking the oral quiz. Four probable reasons explain the higher scores:

The most significant contributor to higher grades is the self-correcting nature of the oral format—students always arrive at a correct response before moving on to the next question. This correct response, even though they might have been assisted to reach it, sets the stage for them to answer subsequent questions correctly. On traditional written examinations, missing the first part of a multipart question often results in answering all parts of the question incorrectly.

Requiring students to think aloud during the oral examination makes them think more carefully. This extra measure of care is often evident as a student will start a response, and then, even before they have completed their initial thought, will see a better way to look at the problem and logically work their way to a correct answer from a new starting point.

The oral examination tests a relatively small body of material and students are able to focus their study efforts. This focus is surely intensified by the knowledge that the testing will be done one-on-one. They do not want to do poorly in such a personal situation.

When testing some concepts, such as crystal packing or molarity, the questions are concrete in that students have objects to manipulate.

oralexams  exams  learning  teaching  pedagogy 
january 2017 by kme
Education Games Aim to Improve Learning But Risk Giving Too Much Screentime - The Atlantic
According to Mobile Gaming 2014, a report by the NPD Group, Americans (two and up) spend more than two hours on mobile gaming every day, which is 57 percent more than 2012. Tweens spend more time per gaming session than any other age group.
gaming  learning  education  screenaddiction 
september 2016 by kme
Dive Into Python
First bookmarked ( in March 2010. Here's probably why that site is just a blank page now:
python  newbie  programming  learning  tutorial  reference  ebook 
july 2016 by kme
How to Learn Python in Five Minutes - Daniel Moniz - YouTube
'5 Minute Presentation of "How to learn Python" '

- (help with phone interviews)
python  learning  programming  video 
june 2016 by kme
Want to Remember Everything You'll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm
Philosopher William James once wrote that mental life is controlled by noticing. Climbing out of the sea and onto the windy beach, my skin purple and my mind in a reverie provoked by shock, I find myself thinking of a checklist Wozniak wrote a few years ago describing how to become a genius. His advice was straightforward yet strangely terrible:

You must clarify your goals,
gain knowledge through spaced repetition,
preserve health,
work steadily,
minimize stress,
refuse interruption,
and never resist sleep when tired.

This should lead to radically improved intelligence and creativity. The only cost: turning your back on every convention of social life. It is a severe prescription. And yet now, as I grin broadly and wave to the gawkers, it occurs to me that the cold rationality of his approach may be only a surface feature and that, when linked to genuine rewards, even the chilliest of systems can have a certain visceral appeal.
learning  memory  cognition  spacedrepetition  supermemo 
may 2016 by kme
ElixirConf 2015 - Keynote: Elixir Should Take Over the World by Jessica Kerr - YouTube
Whatever step you're on, you're perfect to teach the people one step *behind* you.

The hardest part of learning is *un*learning.

"It's usually the people from another field that have the big ideas" (new insights).

- blog
- share what you know
- publish small bits of code, so that others can learn
elixir  webdevel  conference  talk  video  learning  programming  howtohelp 
april 2016 by kme
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