Posts Tagged ‘programming’

postheadericon Long-Forgotten Resource

Well, I did end up finding a good resource for anyone interested in programming but not sure where to find extra, concise learning resources. If interested, try Safari Books Online. It’s an online database provided by Virginia Tech. In fact, the school pays thousands of dollars, part of each student’s tuition, to have access to these resources. So if we’re paying for these databases it can’t hurt to actually use them!

All you need to type in the search box is what you’re really interested in. Just typing in “Python Programming” brings up results and titles ranging from “Intro to…” to “Expert Python Programming”; it’s perfect for any level of programmer. There’s tons of professionally done books on other languages from Java to Tcl and systems like the PIC microcontroller. This database has already sorted through the unworthy or cluttered resources that appear at the top of Google searches. You’re much better off finding serious help in this database than through a Google search.

TIP: When you get your required textbook list for next semester, look up the titles in this database. The book might be available for free and you could save yourself tons of money!

postheadericon Is There a Better Way to Run a Programming Class?

Last year in ECE2574, a C++ Data Structures class, there were 64 students crammed into a small classroom on the first day. Just two weeks later, there were no more than 15 students coming to class on a regular basis. The worst I saw was just 8 students. I thought the class was just too hard for some people so they dropped it. However, on the day of the final exam, over 50 people showed up!! I finally came to the conclusion that students, including me, don’t seem to get much out of classroom teaching of programming so they just don’t show up.

So is there a better way to keep students in programming classes engaged so that they not only come to class but participate and ask/answer questions?

Based on the programming classes I’ve been in, nothing has worked. Most professors accept that too but keep on going because they’re at least reaching a few students who are getting the most out of their [parent’s] $24,000/year payments.

My suggestion for programming classes: have a LIVE feed or terminal window that everyone can log onto/access and post questions or answers to coding solutions. To avoid fear of asking stupid answers, just first and last initials could be used to hide the identity of a shy student. Also, include color codes(red for answers, blue for questions, etc) just for fun and make it a little more user-friendly and fun to use!

Having a live feed that everyone can see and post too will keep the classes fast paced and won’t drag on and make kids feel like it’s useless to come to class. Instead, this new live feed will provide speedy interaction between students, other students, and their professor. As a result, classes can cover more topics and make sure no one is completely left behind.

So… anyone want to create that? I’m a bit busy to even google to see if an app exists already.