[sf-lug] Teaching programming at SF-LUG meetings

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at asheesh.org
Sat Sep 20 10:41:15 PDT 2008

On Fri, 19 Sep 2008, Christian Einfeldt wrote:

> hi
> On Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 11:27 PM, Asheesh Laroia <asheesh at asheesh.org>wrote:
>> There was some discussion earlier on this list about teaching introductory
>> programming.  Thinking about it, I would love to be more directly involved
>> in that sort of thing.
> I am willing to host such meetings at the school.  The advantage of 
> doing it there is that we would have the lab, and so Asheesh would be 
> able to take advantage of iTalc in teaching us how to do program. 
> iTalc is an instructional tool that allows an instructor to broadcast 
> his / her desktop to other machines, so we could watch Asheesh do his 
> programming and follow along as he speaks.  We would see Asheesh's mouse 
> move, and we would see characters appear on our screen as he typed.


The model I'm imagining for the class is:

* Everyone does their reading
* Everyone either does the assignments before the meet-up or
   (in a pinch) at the meet-up
** If you do them before, and you have questions (like something doesn't
    work or you don't know how), bring in or email me your assignment

** If you don't do the assignments before the meet-up, you do them
    at the meet-up, and you and I can discuss how.

If people plan to bring in laptops, then that eliminates one advantage of 
the lab: everyone having a computer to play with.  But Christian's point 
about me being able to teach using that machine is a good one.  I don't 
like the idea of doing it there just because as far as I know it requires 
Christian to be there promptly to unlock and lock the place; I don't like 
the idea of relying on him for that, since if he's sick or busy it might 
put a dent in the plans.

One reason I like the idea of doing this at SF-LUG meetings, at least some 
of the time, so that the group can be discovered by accident by people 
passing by.  That does not preclude doing it at the school sometimes.

Another reason I like the idea of doing it at always at a cafe around a 
time when I'll be hungry is that if no one shows up, at least I can get 
some wifi + eating time in.  Basically, I'm trying to optimize for "No 
hard feelings" so that everyone is happy with the way things turn out, for 
whatever variation may exist with the way things turn out.

That's just me thinking aloud; this does not resemble a decision.

-- Asheesh.

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs.
 		-- Kernighan

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