Summer LearningI didn't attend the CSTA conference or the ISTE conference, and admit that I wish that I could. I enjoy conferences, attending sessions, talking to the speakers, visiting the booths, and finding those connections with others. However, my summer learning is proving to be very comprehensive, deep, and best of all I get to sleep in my own bed every night!
I attended the one day RockCS conference at the beginning of the June. What a great day of
|Jake Baskin presenting at RockCS|
The third week of June was a custom class on learning to use SolidWorks with an eye towards industry certification of CSWA (Certified SolidWorks Associate) plus the fun of using a 3D printer. This class was personally much more challenging for me. It was open-ended and student driven -- yep, I work much better with structure and deadlines. The other part that challenged me was using a new tool, SolidWorks. I struggled with placing elements, zooming in and out as needed, rotating the elements to see things from different angles. I was fortunate to have an expert available (CATT) as I had questions and struggles. This definitely showed me that my students will also be going through some struggles that can hopefully be turned into product struggles, and making sure that I have enough check-ins to make sure that students aren't struggling in silence and becoming increasingly frustrated. Again a timely class as this will be one of the offerings for the Independent Study class that we will be offering at Pinnacle.
The last week of June, I was back at Colorado School of Mines for a class on Cryptography. This was more of a traditional class with longer lectures covering some heady mathematics concepts that I haven't used since I was in college (back in the 80s). The class was sprinkled with labs that had me using Linux with the openssl commands and libraries. This was a great class that really made me push hard to keep up with the topics of symmetric and asymmetric ciphers, hash functions, and digital certificates and keys. While these topics are not ones that I will be directly teaching my students, I do have ideas on some possible demonstrations. Also, I find that teaching topics that I feel completely comfortable with does not push me to think deeply and taking a class like this is invaluable to me.
Finally, I will be taking one more class on data science at Colorado School of Mines in mid-July. This will be another class that I won't be directly teaching but hope to come away pushing my thinking and a demonstration or two that I can bring to my classes. The class will be using Python and a new package for me, Pyret. So I am looking forward to it as well.
I am grateful for all of the many opportunities for CS professional development right in my backyard. A big shout out to Dr. Tracy Camp and all of the classes she creates with the C-START program. One of these years I would like to get to CSTA and ISTE, but until then I want to keep my brain engaged over the summer months to avoid a summer slump for me!