Tips for live teaching tech online, deeply informed by The Carpentries

As the higher education world begins to adapt to an online format and industry to virtual meetings, many of us are adapting to a new set of social etiquettes around teaching in platforms like Zoom. I won’t be getting into the important topics about digital equity involved in a flip to fully online education orContinue reading “Tips for live teaching tech online, deeply informed by The Carpentries”

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Sticky activity 1: Describe your data in three attributes

This is hopefully the first part in a series of posts where I share some of my favorite group activities for workshops or group facilitation. The scene: Imagine being in the middle of a conversation with a team trying to grapple with complex data, and the folk at the table are explaining their project.  You’veContinue reading “Sticky activity 1: Describe your data in three attributes”

Advice for helping coding beginners in user groups: smile, don’t brain dump, and remember to shut up

I was recently asked to be a guest speaker talking to a Makerspaces class about teaching and supporting programming in the makerspace context.  After writing up my notes and presenting, I realized that I have learned a lot in my three years with the Champaign-Urbana Python User Group (Py-CU).  This blog post contains my generalContinue reading “Advice for helping coding beginners in user groups: smile, don’t brain dump, and remember to shut up”

How I use github in 500 words

My feelings about github are somewhere at the nexus of aggravated and grateful.  Git is not easy because it is composed of a series of incantations based out of somewhat identifiable English.  Close enough that you think they have meaning but far enough that you want to bludgeon yourself in the hopes of forgetting semantics.  AndContinue reading “How I use github in 500 words”

What I’m working on right now

By request of Julia Evans (tweet) to the world, I am writing about what I’m working on right now. As the tweets were posted I was in the middle of facilitating Py-CU‘s weekly open hours. The discussion threads were: Attempting to help someone get Python 2.7 going within Anaconda3 so he could use computer vision packages in JupyterContinue reading “What I’m working on right now”

Why it barely matters where you start

There is no one true anything in life. Expanded out to the programming world, there is no one true IDE, book, language, package, etc. Anyone trying to sell you on that is a liar. A more refined statement might be: any hybrid tool can rarely ever be as good as a specific tool. Many newcomersContinue reading “Why it barely matters where you start”

“Programming as an information-centric activity” talk at the Python Education Summit

After developing/teaching several types of programming workshops and spending a lot of time listening to my peers at GSLIS talk about learning how to code, it is fair to say that I have a lot of opinions on the state of teaching programming for those outside of a STEM past and going into a non-STEMContinue reading ““Programming as an information-centric activity” talk at the Python Education Summit”

The great Python Mashup lesson plan

I’m often asked by new students where they should go to learn Python.  That isn’t always an easy answer, because I haven’t found the one perfect resource yet.  However, there are some really strong ones out there.  My goal was to construct a lesson plan that was a mashup of my favorite resources into aContinue reading “The great Python Mashup lesson plan”

Interview with Trinket.io

I had the great pleasure of meeting Elliott Hauser and the awesome development team of Trinket.io at PyCon 2014.  Trinket taps into the web-based power of Python by creating a framework to host interactive Python sessions as part of lessons or embedded in a blog. Trinket’s blog has been featuring a series of interviews with programming educators, showcasing aContinue reading “Interview with Trinket.io”