Hello all. This week most of my students got over the bump in the road that is for loops. Although I have a few that are still learning the concept, most have moved on to animation using the arrow keys. In general, all students are doing well for the respective age group they are in.
On Tuesday I volunteered with the math club in their free tutoring sessions for a couple hours, the crowd was a little slow at first but eventually started helping some people out with mostly college algebra and calculus related subjects
Today, I went to Have Dreams in Evanston for 2 hours. Today was mostly an introductory day. I was shown around the building, the classrooms, and I met the students. I mainly observed the students going about their day, using Oculus Rift. The goal is for them to gain knowledge in coding and computing.
I had two classes today. Both students were older non-white women. For my first class, the student didn’t really have any experience with computers. She didn’t really have any specific questions like my first student did which made it a little more difficult. She specifically signed up to be taught how to use a mouse, so I started teaching from there. It was a little difficult to teach but the library provided me with a website to help with teaching.
My second student had taken classes before so she had some experience with computers. She wanted to learn more about she internet. This was another topic that I found a little difficult to teach. Luckily she had specific questions so I helped answer her questions and also taught her some features of the mouse that she didn’t know about.
Hello all. Things are going well at Hawthorne and Nettelhorst. I’m getting the sense that the students are going to need a little more practice with the repeat blocks, or for loops. I was beginning to sense a small degree of frustration with loops from the students towards the end of the one and quarter hour class. I think for the last 15 minutes or so I’m going to let them play games developed using Tynker that use the concept of the for loop to help motivate them and help eliviate some of their frustration.
Today I taught my first library patron, we worked with Excel. I was really nervous because I haven’t worked too much with Excel and I didn’t know what level my student would be at. The student was an elderly woman who actually has worked quite a bit with Excel (she actually taught me a few things about the program) and she just had a few things she couldn’t figure out. She thought she would need to use macros to fix them (something I’ve never worked with) but it turned out that the solutions to her questions were a lot simpler than she thought. I was able to answer all her questions as well as give her a few tips to make working with Excel easier. My first session was actually very enjoyable. I’m glad I was able to help her and I’m looking forward to future classes.
Hello all. Last week I started teaching Tynker through an after school program called Right At School. I am at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy on Wednesdays and Nettelhorst Elementary School on Thursdays for about an hour and a half each. Tynker is drag-and-drop programming similar to Scratch. The class sizes are about 10 - 14 children, grades 1st through 4th. Last week we spent almost the entire class learning usernames and passwords. This past week I introduced the classes to the “repeat” block, which is basically a for loop. Some of the younger students had a little trouble grasping the idea at first, but I think most of them ended up understanding by the end.
11/13 - onwards Have Dreams
I have found a good program that automatically converts from C# to Unityscript without requiring any modification to the original code. This is a breakthrough as it will save Have Dreams from having to pay for either a program or someone’s service to do this. I testing out this one code snipped that would compile with the original and new code in Unity.
After this, I have not managed to do much beyond brainstorming and narrowing down what should and should not be done for the game tutorial. I will continue working towards a solution to make the coding process easier which will cut down on the time it will take to create the tutorials. One of the workers at Have Dreams left the organization and my supervisor got busy with work outside of Have Dreams, so the project reached a slight bottleneck from both ends.
11/14/13 + 11/21/13 + 12/03/13
Not much has changed since my first three meeting with A. We did, however, decide to start meeting online as opposed to in person. We both decided that this is better after our first Google Doc session where we would communicate via the document. This way A. could look back on our conversation in the future for reference. It seems that she has been using some of Oakton’s resources for help with assignments and so programming was only one of several parts of our discussions. She was overall more interested in learning about how to succeed in computer science in general in terms of courses, job experience, and participation in various activities. I gave her honest opinions on her ideas and let her know whenever I felt that my own opinion was biased enough as to where a second opinion from someone else would be beneficial. This experience seems to have been positive for her and it has inspired me to apply some of the mentoring techniques on my younger cousins who are currently in high school and will, like me and A., become first generation college students. She will hopefully use the upcoming break to continue practicing either programming or any of several skillsets I suggested. I have offered myself as an ongoing resource in case she wants to pick up on anything from building a server or learning linux. Although I’m not proficient in everything, I know where to find adequate resources.
We have worked on HTML schedules for the rest of my time. Most of the kids have them done. I can’t express how much fun I had at Steinmetz. I told everyone I was leaving and it was my last day and I got a few applause. Ms. Ward is phenomenal to work with she cares and is exactly what a student needs. Loyola STARS participants should strongly consider this assignment in the future. The trek is undoubtedly worth it.