Index by Date

In reverse order:

Ruby on Rails on Udemy: A full stack! - If you have read some of my previous posts, you may recall that I dabbled in Ruby and Ruby on Rails a couple of years back. When I first began, I was quite enamored with the online learning platform offered by the Flatiron School in NYC. But that was when I tried out their free […]
What Will Be Your Technology “Waterloo”? - If, unlike me, you have conquered SnapChat, have you met your technology "Waterloo" somewhere else? I am asking because, as an educator and a learner, I'd like to know if it is possible to predict and identify the roadblocks to one's learning – and apply an antidote, like how we use antibiotics on infections.
Video: Dr. Chuck Interviews Van Jacobson - Another fascinating video: Dr. Chuck interviews Van Jacobson
Dr. Chuck’s Interview with Mitchell Baker - A "must-see" videos for those who lived through the Netscape-Mozilla-Firefox era. 
Hello World! - My younger child going off to college marked a milestone in this coder's life. "Hello World" – and I mean it!
My MOOC Explorations Continue - It’s been a few months since my last post. That’s because I got totally immersed in learning coding, specifically Ruby, far more seriously than I had expected. In the last two months, I got very sick. But now I am back. First of all, the Capstone Python class on Coursera got postponed from a January start date. It finally started […]
Differentiated Instruction & the Flipped Classroom - Insights on differentiated instruction and the flipped classroom after a few good MOOCS classes
A Dabbler in MOOCs - A "recreational" coder reflects on her switch from Python to Ruby & the current state of the many MOOCs.
Digitization and Losing the Art of Research - Digitized archival materials are accessible and searchable, but much is lost in the process. One researcher commenting on a recent NYTimes article.
Problem-based learning – what I learned from - A new perspective gained by learning coding on the Flatiron School's online platform, Learn. @learn_o @codecademy @coursera #MOOCS #edtech
Arduino (H)appiness! - Santa brought an Arduino UNO to a techie-wanna-be and therein lies more fun than one can imagine.
My On-going Coding Adventure - How one newcomer to coding struggles to make sense of the various paths to coding nirvana.
How to get over MOOCs addiction: Experience a MOOC-platform-in-confusion - Whatever is happening on @Coursera does not feel good to a learner.
Proof! - Completed Programming for Everyone on Coursera! Why places such as Codecademy are important to learning - Returning to Codecademy after #PR4E, a learner recognizes that Codecademy played a critical role in her learning – and it continues to do so.
My First Virtual Graduation - Coursera class "PR4E" ends on a fun note.
Kids, Math, MOOCs, and Online Learning - Reflecting on a positive MOOCs experience.
Video: Dr. Chuck’s Interview with Douglas Crockford, developer and popularizer of JSON - The last of the enrichment videos from “Programming for Everyone” (“PR4E”): Dr. Chuck Severance interviews Douglas Crockford on his involvement in developing JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). “PR4E” has introduced me to quite a few of these interview videos. All of the people interviewed were instrumental in the development of the Internet. Their work not only shaped the […]
What is the “Ed” in EdX? Part 3 - When I was working my way through the exercises in Codecademy and my Coursera class, “Programming for Everyone” (“PR4E”), I often found the instructions to be so densely constructed that they required “translation.” The vast knowledge gap between a beginner and the instructor necessitates that introductory classes should be taught the way math is taught to elementary […]
Video interview of Brendan Eich, Inventor of JavaScript - Yet another excellent video introduced to me by my Coursera class, “Programming for Everyone.” This time, Dr. Chuck Severance interviews Brendan Eich, the inventor of JavaScript. I love these videos for their rich insights, for the unique historical perspectives, and for reminding me of the amazing humans behind the technical innovations. For all the stereotypical view of the […]
What is the “Ed” in EdX – Part 2 - Many MOOC students are highly motivated. They enroll in astronomical numbers – and can quit en masses just as easily. So it's important not to make these erroneous assumptions.
What is the “Ed” in EdX? - One learner discovered that not all MOOCs are created equal.
Video: Rasmus Lerdorf, Inventor of PHP - A very interesting video w a pioneer of the Web, Rasmus Lerdorf.
The “Five Minute University”: Parody or Prophecy? - This video from 1980 remains both an apt parody and a clarion warning for those interested in higher education innovation and MOOCs.
Still loopy, but mostly (MOOCs-ly) from joy - An early celebration of a great MOOC course.
A Youtube Video: “Writing a Python Program – Simple Workflow” - Just watched a cool YouTube video: “Writing a Python Program – Simple Workflow” by Richard White. Richard White shows, on screen, how he constructs a simple program: How he starts, how he adds components, and how he does the debugging — i.e. checking for errors in the code. This is really cool! Why is this worth […]
The Joy of discovering a Rube Goldberg of Coding - Halfway through a Coursera programming class, a learner compares her experiences at two MOOC classes and discovered the simplicity of PB&J.
Python state of mind: [‘grief’] - Working through a simple Python exercise brought out a Shakespearean side of coding: "grief".
Video Interview with Gordon Bell - Another fascinating perspective on the evolution of the computer hardware and software that have shaped every aspect of our lives.
Help Forums: Where Magic (sometimes) Happens - A MOOC help forum connoisseur samples and dissects a couple of help forums and decides that, reading through discussion threads in the help forums often feels like panning for gold: as long as there is an occasional glittery dust in the pan, there is always hope.
Lather, rinse, repeat: Loopy tech talk - An attempt to take on a programmers' inside joke on infinite loops: Lather, rinse, repeat.
How a learner parsed a coding exercise – Part 2 - A programming course for the masses should be designed with the masses in mind. That include people who want to learn, who work hard to learn, but who have significant knowledge gaps to the point of not being able to ask the right questions.
How a learner parsed a coding exercise - Examining a learning process under a microscope: Here's how a newbie tried to figure out a simple coding exercise.
Sir Ken Robinson: “Changing Education Paradigms” - Sir Ken Robinson: "We have to get over this old conception of academic, non- academic, abstract, theoretical, vocational and see it for what it is - a myth."
What happens when a machine does the grading in a MOOC class - Getting feedback through grading is part of learning. Don't expect that from an auto grader.
Python and Math Education - The type of code that best shows off the power of computers involves math. I wonder whether any coder can succeed without mastery of basic math. To write a couple of lines of code to handle even the simplest math problem requires total understanding of the basis of solving a math problem. In fact, one must go through steps as if one was […]
Niklaus Wirth on teaching programming - Yesterday I watched the video of Dr. Chuck Severance’s “Conversation with Niklaus Wirth” who created PASCAL and pioneered many other programming languages. This 20-minute long video  is nothing short of amazing and inspiring. What struck me most is Niklaus Wirth’s refrain on simplicity: He and his colleagues were “convinced that the future lay, particularly for teaching […]
Learning to code: A good starting place for writers - Even for casual learners, learning to code is an exercise in self-discipline. Failure to pay attention to details result in harsh error messages – yikes, all because of an indent?
Ex Machina - Watched Ex Machina yesterday and saw one (programmer's) vision of the future of humanity.
Massimo Banzi on building Arduino - "I think it's important to be masters of the technology." said Massimo Banzi, the creator of #Arduino.
Python came through for me today! - I used Python for real!
How learning Python compares to transplanting azaleas - Nothing beats having a good class. Looping, one of the first things one learns in coding, used to be such a confusing concept. But my Coursera class took care of that, in one lecture. At this moment, I find myself marveling at the fact that concepts in Python seem incredibly straightforward: You tell it to do a task, […]
Professor as interpreter - In his textbook for the Coursera class, Programming for Everyone, Dr. Chuck Severance says: “You can almost read the while statement as if it were English.” Professor interpreted a difficult concept and made it accessible for students. That’s why this class is so good! By the way: The word, while, in Python, initiates certain actions (called loops), so it […]
Why all teachers should learn to code a little - Learning coding as a adult requires one to become re-acquainted with steps of learning, which we have mastered, grown out of, and forgotten.
Where *is* Python? - Herein lies one of the foundational pieces of learning (or teaching) programming: Have a coming-out party for whatever language one is learning (or teaching). In other words: Find it first.
Why we need teachers (even when learning code) - Listening to a video lecture cleared up a difficult concept that I had not solved alone.
Decode the code – a beginner’s view - "Does "uh-huh" mean 'yes'?" - and other gaps between learners and knowledge.
Critical thinking in this digital world - Critical thinking par excellence: From the mouth of a computer giant.
A collection of great video clips on programming and computer technology - A collection of great video clips on programming and computer technology.
Interviews with Python’s creator, Guido Van Rossum - The Coursera class I am taking, Programming for Everyone, has some really interesting video clips that I did not know existed, including these two with the creator of Python, Guido van Rossum. Did you know Python had a singular creator? 1. Welcome to Python Programming. Guido van Rossum on the creation of Python. 2. The Modern Era of Python. Guido […]
How learning Python compares to learning a foreign language  - The third week of the Coursera class, Programming for Everyone, covers conditional statements. Here one gets a glimpse of the flexibility and complexity of a computer language dealing with uncertainty. The interesting piece for me is what Dr. Chuck calls “compound statements” – multi-line statements forming (& executed as) one block. So a programming language, […]
Help comes in all forms (and links)! - A learner new to Python (sometimes) gets stymied by the help offered.
My accidental encounter with JavaScript - My accidental encounter with JavaScript: Musings on teaching & learning. #PR4E #Codecademy
Fraction in-action - How learning Python has taught me not to think of "9/2=4R0" as clumsy.
Anatomy of instructions for a coding exercise – Part 4 - Undoubtedly, some may think my translation (see my previous posts) was for the stupid: It’s like how we teach kids in schools nowadays–too much hand-holding and not enough independent learning. Independent learning is a good thing — I am all for it. If someone doesn’t have the necessary building blocks to learn at all, how […]
Anatomy of instructions for a coding exercise – Part 3 - Anatomy of instructions for a coding exercise - Part 3
Anatomy of instructions for a coding exercise – Part 2 - #Allow me to put on my professor’s (tattered) robe and reading glasses. #Now let’s take a look at I am supposed to do for the exercise. #For those with even less experience coding, the # symbol is called a “comment”, which computers know not to execute (smart!) but which is intended for other humans to […]
Anatomy of instructions for a coding exercise - Quite a few people got stumped by the simple exercise which inspired me to write several posts and a haiku (as antidote to the mind-numbing effort of coding). One particular exasperated coder posted a screenshot that looked similar to mine: So it is time to take a closer look at the instructions to writing a simple […]
A haiku in Python - So this is neither a Haiku nor code in Python – it is MY Python interpreter's work.
The topography of the “chasm” - Exploring the gap a learner faces. Or, put it in Python: raw_input("What do you NOT understand?")
Raspberry Pi! - RaspberryPi !!!
Best explanation: “An Animated Short Python Story” - So this made sense for me. In fact, I loved it. Does it make sense to others.
Python can describe how I read stories - In (my half-baked) Python lingo, this is how I sometimes read fiction: >>>read TITLE read the beginning; if beginning === interesting: continue reading;
Hit the end of the road at Codecademy - Making sense of Python--harder than learning a foreign language!
Quiero ser una Pythonista! - "An individual who can speak Python is known as a Pythonista."
Invalid codes #1: Don’t compare Python to a dog! - Coursera Professor compared compared using computer language to talking to a dog. Woof! I disagree!
Class starting - Coursera Python class starting today!
A coder’s dream - print: "my-ability = computer programming"
Monkey see, monkey can’t do - Translating tech language into English. OK. Then what?
Language 101, or One Hundred and One? - Brushing up on HTML skills looks like a 101 class, but that's just a teaser.
Stuck on code - Finding good advice from the help forum on CodeAcademy.
First line of trouble - "Add a function." Huh?
Hello world! (Print “Hello world!”) - CodeAcademy: Learn-to -code school for the HTML-has-been's.