CodeBook is an interactive programming environment I developed to make coding a little more fun by improving feedback and interactivity. It was originally developed in 24 hours for the HackU programming competition. The idea was inspired/stolen from a fantastic talk by Bret Victor titled “Inventing on Principle”.
Using the AppleTV instead of a projector (or worse, interactive whiteboard):
Using my iPad and AirPlay, I can wirelessly mirror any content on my iPad to the screen at the front of the room. The real advantage is evident during collaborative activities. Students can use their own iOS devices to connect to the AppleTV to share their work with the rest of the class. I can be anywhere in the room and still run my lesson. I can pull up sound and video clips on my iPad and instantly share them with my class without being attached to any particular location in the room.
There’s so much potential here, especially with AirPlay support for Macs in Mountain Lion. TVs are cheaper and higher-resolution than most projectors, too.
In this case study we want to help designers and developers who are familiar with iOS to reimagine their apps using Metro style design principles. We show you how to translate common user interface and experience patterns found in iPad apps to Windows 8 Metro style apps.
Old but good. _why, back in 2003, on learning programming, where he argues that coding just wasn’t accessible:
The old machines don’t compare to the desktops of today, or to the consoles of today. But, sadly, current versions of Windows have no immediately accessible programming languages. And what’s a kid going to do with Visual Basic? Build a modal dialog?
Makes one wonder what he’d think of Codecademy, Code School (which seems to be overseeing the resurrected Try Ruby) and the like.
"The biggest cost by far is the cost of training people to be able to build software – although fairly easy to pick up the basics it’s still a craft that requires knowledge of engineering principles and practical experience.
This is where the Raspberry Pi can save us: it’s now affordable for the government to equip any child in this country with a machine which they could take home with them and play with.”
Demand for the Raspberry Pi is still ridiculous, but we’re looking forward to getting our hands on one. (Their new price is S$58 with shipping to Singapore, but their store is down at time of posting.)
An interesting argument: that calculating devices are now ubiquitous, and math should focus on computational problem-solving instead of drilling and memorisation. An example the author cites:
Computer languages allow students to transform ideas into action. Here is a simple rule that a math teacher might describe to her students:
If the number is greater than 9, carry the 10’s place; otherwise add the number to the bottom row.
The solution for this can be expressed as a simple if/else statement:
if (number > 9)
carry += number / 10;
bottom += number;
There are, as expected, plenty of opposing views in the comments, but it’s good food for thought. Also noteworthy: the comments aren’t completely stupid. Not-completely-stupid comments! On the Internet! WHAT IS THIS WORLD WE’RE LIVING IN
From the blog behind the “Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python” book:
"[For] the casually interested or schoolchildren with several activities competing for their attention, programming concepts like variables and loops and data types aren’t interesting in themselves. They don’t want to learn how to program just for the sake of programming. They don’t want to learn about algorithm complexity or implicit casting. They want to make Super Mario or Twitter or Angry Birds."
We’ve actually found that our students are usually quite happy to spend lots of time making silly console-output programs, like printing a pyramid of asterisks. However, the intro programming courses we’ve conducted have been for a fairly self-selected bunch.
The book is available online for free, and it certainly looks like a great instructional resource.