Education

What do you want to ask 1,200 CS professors?

With only 1 day to go before SIGCSE, the "Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education" conference and the largest CS education conference in the world, my inbox has been filling with invitations to do this, see that, visit this booth, enter this raffle. For an introvert and first-time SIGCSE attendee like me, it's all a little overwhelming. » Read more

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I can't bake croissants: a fable on project documentation

Hi! I'm Mel. When I'm not doing Free Software and Open Source stuff, I'm a learning psychology geek. One of the questions I get asked a lot by fellow FOSS hackers is: Mel! Why don't people help me with my project? » Read more

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Education reform wars: Caricaturization, not disagreement, is the problem

I live in the middle of an ideological war zone.

Wake County Public School System is the eighth largest school district in the United States, and one of the mostly highly regarded. But lately it's not been our graduation rate or test scores that make the headlines. It's the school board's decision to end a highly regarded socioeconomic integration program. » Read more

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Students in Los Altos delight in using Inkscape drawing program

One of the fun parts of blogging for PCWorld.com is getting reader response e-mails from all over the world. You never know who is going to read what you write. Sometimes they'll spot the blog post on the PCWorld Web page, or as a link in a tweet or even as a Google search result several months after the blog post was published.

I've blogged previously about Inkscape, the free vector drawing program for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows, so I was thrilled to receive an e-mail from Sheena Vaidyanathan, who teaches Inkscape to elementary school students in Los Altos, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Here is how Sheena explained her teaching to me: » Read more

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Advancing student achievement through labor-management collaboration

The U.S. Department of Education just wrapped up a two-day conference, touted as a first-of-its-kind summit among teachers and their bosses—school board members and administrators—in an effort to get these historically opposing groups to work together to improve the nation's schools.

About 150 school districts from 40 states sent teachers and administrators to the summit so that school labor and management could talk about student achievement and learn from the successes and challenges of others, rather than to rehash the nuts and bolts of labor contracts. » Read more

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Looking forward to a sweet new year selling open source

Two years ago, I blundered into open source because I wanted my students to build educational games for the One Laptop Per Child community. Much of that history has already been told by opensource.com. I didn't expect this effort to be so sticky--for myself or my students--when we started. » Read more

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sprout: Reclaiming science as a creative craft

In a house not far from Davis Square in Somerville, MA, just outside of Boston, there's a garage full of equipment, a library full of books, and a group of people full of passion. They're called sprout. » Read more

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Open source software gains ground in higher education

Open source software is becoming a dominant force in the software world and the world in general. Unfortunately, many universities still teach computer science without any mention of this recent advance. In the fall of 2007, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) set out to change this.

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Critical thinking: Why our students need it and resources for teaching it

If you believe in conspiracy theories, enjoy posting political links, or are an apologist for alternative medicine, you probably don’t want to be my Facebook friend. You see, I have a rather outspoken inner skeptic that feels compelled to fact-check anything that sounds outlandish or unlikely. I try to squelch it from time to time, for the sake of politeness and decorum, but it’s a relentless voice with nagging questions.

“Is that right? That doesn’t sound right.”

“There has to be a detail missing.”

“That’s not possible… is it?” » Read more

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People's Choice Award winner: Máirín Duffy

Congratulations to our first People's Choice Award winner, Máirín Duffy.

Máirín is a senior interaction designer at Red Hat. She's highly creative and a great artist, who is also is also passionate about open source. For her the two intersect in Inkscape, an open source SVG graphics program. Read how she used it to introduce middle school students to open source. » Read more

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