Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The adventure begins

This is one that I thought I would not do, enter university to do a paper, people talk about there experiences about doing a masters in education of postgraduate study. The last one I did was through Manukau Institute of Technology to do some eLearning papers and tried doing two papers as well as a fulltime workload. Something I learnt from that was that I have to not try to do so much.

One paper, Curriculum Implementation for Computer Science, a paper that I have been waiting for, this will help close some gaps in my knowledge. I did a Certificate in Business Computing, Advanced Certificate in Business Computing, part of a Bachelor of Business Computing and a Bachelor of Information Technology. I touched on some aspects of computer science without realising it, most to do with Human Computer Interaction, I think I even did a paper in it.

Included is some feedback that I sent originally around what I would like from the course;
This has been a course that is in need, with the number of teachers attempting this standard with their students. It is one that has benefits as a number of teachers including myself only did business computing courses through polytechnic and don't have the pre knowledge to be able to teach this to our students. Myself would be one of the first enrollments in this course. There are a number of teachers throughout the country that would be glad to have this type of professional development. It is aimed at how to teach the concepts of computer science and through practical lessons. I look at today as my students sorted computer use agreements and would have loved to teach them alternative methods in there sort that would have taken them less time.
The course would have to cover the concepts for level 1, and 2. though those at level 3 would need to be different as there is way to much to cover, an introduction to each area and some clarity about what would be needed for the assessment. It is almost worthwhile to try and do the 3.14 standard in this case. The assessment is almost written in the form of the NCEA Achievement Standards that exist.

One suggestion is to help improve the number of maori and pasifica students having the ability to do confidently attempt this standard and improve the nationwide goal of 85% of students achieving NCEA level 2. (though this is covered in bullet point 7)
Through my interactions with teachers throughout the country this is a worthwhile and well needed course, not only for trainee teachers, but us that have been in for 10, 20 years.

Last week covered some information around the course, but mainly it was about getting in for distance learners. This week a number of issues had been solved around webcams and sound and the Adobe Connect session was working.

 The session looked at a number of papers that Tim and his collegues have written around the changes that have happened in the last 3 years in New Zealand education, especially around Programming and Computer Science and how the standards that have been written have been assessed to see where students have obtained credits and marks based upon the number of pages written. It is interesting to find out that you can obtain excellence with around 10 pages, or even get achieved with 1.5 pages. The 14/12 pages are only a guide, not a requirement.

Level One looks at Basic Computer Science techniques
Level Two looks at Advanced Computer Science techniques
and Level Three looks at Complex Computer Science techniques

Resources that we are looking at or recommended reading are:
and also the main resource of the Computer Science Field Guide, student version available at http://cosc.canterbury.ac.nz/csfieldguide 

As part of our course a diary about our experiences within our classes is required, as well as our lectures, we are also required to make comments about how others are going, giving encouragement. The group is using a Google Plus community to help provide this aspect. An interesting idea that could be used with our own students later on. 

Tim looked at why the numbers of students doing computer science have dropped from the boom of the Y2K, computers becoming a part of people's lives, the dot com bust, saturation in the industry, fear of overseas outsourcing have all had an impact on CS numbers. One area that is of concern is the number of female CS students and professionals.

Changes that are happening and they are just starting is the introduction of code.org, codecademy.com and the introduction of computer science clubs at Canterbury University. 

Computer studies has users, there is only one other industry that referes to its stakeholders as users and its not exactly one that we want to be associated with. 
Computer programming, making software, where CS comes into play.

Computer Science means making software;
  • fast
  • efficient
  • reliable
  • secure
  • usable
  • scalable
  • delightful
  • intelligent
  • visual
CS deals with those issues, and a number of examples were given about how we see these issues in todays environment and in our work.

Purpose of CS standards at school was looked at; we are making students aware of the issues, looking at making developers, not users, and preparing students for tertiary and industry. 

Program or be programmed, http://socialmemorycomplex.net/leftlibertarian/2010/11/01/a-review-of-program-or-be-programmed/ is one that thing that we have been asked to look at, as well as what other resources could we review, think, look at the ideas, develop key points and recommend to student to read. 

Also talked about was programming in Vietnam where high school students are solving problems that google engineers cannot solve in an interview.

The issue of when should a person learn to program and in what language came up, with some experiences being shared about when we started.

Then we looked at a quick introduction of a number of the areas of Computer Science.

I look forward to the day long course on Saturday.


jkw said...

I thought you provided a good summary of the first group meeting of the course.
Have you taught the external Computer Science units yet or are you leaving them to nearer the end of the year?

oneteachersview said...

I have taught aspects of the various level 1 and 2 computer science standards, but these have been informal. Students have gotten used to binary and hex, tried dome sorting methods when sorting the BYOD paperwork that comes in at the start of the year, as well we have looked at some user interfaces when looking at software. I am planning on hitting them more in term 3.

Niki Davis said...

Thank you very much for contributing to our postgraduate course with your Blog - valuable for the whole class and the teaching team. I hope that you will find the reflections useful in promoting deeper learning and that 9more of) your peers will join you in that too.

Professor Davis