Wednesday, January 4, 2017

NCSS 2017 Day 2

A Great Day! 

This morning we had our first non-introductory embedded lecture and went over some of the code required to get the micro:bit to do our bidding. The lecture was paced quite quickly and the students contributed and some asked questions that really challenged the capabilities of the device (I love curly thinking)

<-- These are my lecture notes

After the lecture we got into the labs with courseware that allows us to test out code in an emulator before we download to the device to see it in action. I had a bit of a play and then was encouraged to test out my tutoring. It was tops to approach the students and either just have a chat or work out how to help them think  their own problems through. 

I think embedded is heaps more accessible this year. Firstly, I think this is because micropython abstracts some of the hinky things you usually have to deal with in Arduino or even Raspberry Pi electronics (e.g. button bouncing + wires!). Secondly, I think the students are coming at the course with a higher level of programming ability either through the prep course or other Grok resource exposure.

After lunch we had a meeting about ACA (A new project developed to a fed government tender). We went through the requirements that have to be covered and a little about the time-line. It's going to be great to have real targets to hit and work towards. It's really exciting. Teachers of years 5 and 7 should watch this space!

After the meeting I went to the second lab which was already underway but I used the time to get two micro:bits with speakers attached to play The Final Countdown (both melody and bass). 

It was fun but I hope to get some more tutoring in tomorrow. It's tricky to know how much to help because the students are seemingly coping so well. I do wonder, though, if they're giving Python enough of a run for it's money to contribute meaningfully to the Programming and Cryptography competitions that are coming up in a couple of days. It'll be definitely better than if they had spent the last 2 days on Arduino - C++.
Finally, after the learning and the dinner we had the NCSS Trivia night and the teachers were once again ROBBED of their rightful place as winners. We know stuff but apparently when it gets to creative stuff like limericks and serial charades we suck. :sad_face:

Looking so much forward to the "Scavenger Hunt" around the USyd grounds tomorrow.  Teacher team FTW!!

No comments:

Post a Comment