[IAEP] [squeakland] What makes examples good for novices? and How do we tell if an example is good for novices?

Caryl Bigenho cbigenho at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 3 02:04:06 EST 2012

RE the Khan Academy programming video... I have tried some of them in parallel with hands-on, and while they do teach some concepts well, they aren't particularly exciting. Perhaps that is why I stopped working on them. I really believe that the Khan Academy videos, and other video instructional videos, work best in the "flip your class" type situation. Watch the video first, individually as an introduction to a topic. Repeat and "rewind" as much as you need to feel comfortable with the subject matter. Then follow up in a "class" situation where there are other learners (and perhaps a "teacher" or mentor) to help you practice the skill or process you have been practicing. This could just be with a friend, in a club or a group of other interested learners. It might even work well with one of Sugata Mitra's "Granny" clouds. Hummm.... I wonder.... anyone want to be this Grannie''s Granny?
Caryl (aka sweetxogrannie or GrannieB)
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 01:18:47 -0500
From: sthomas1 at gosargon.com
To: lenglish5 at cox.net
CC: iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org; squeakland at squeakland.org
Subject: Re: [IAEP] [squeakland] What makes examples good for novices? and How do we tell if an example is good for novices?

On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:16 PM, Lawson English <lenglish5 at cox.net> wrote:

    I can't give you any stats other than positive feedback I have
    gotten, but the Salman Khan style of video teaching seems to work
    well for programming as well as for math.
I generally like the Salman Khan video's and think they have their place (flame away folks :).  The ability to watch at my your pace and on your own time is a big plus and my kids use them sometimes when they are struggling with a concept.  While it is preferable to struggle with the concepts ourselves, who has the time (or the ability) to re-construct all that knowledge. So, I think there is a role for a "good explanation."  Of course, it would be nice if he had more "Sugar" like artifacts to play and learn with.

That said I really didn't like his Programming videos.  Programming, I believe, is much better if taught with lots of hands on opportunities and problems.  Videos could be used after the learner has a chance to work on a problem. Perhaps to show different ways to solve a problem and/or Providing a Guided Tour through "good literature" (well written code) and perhaps bad as well or something like Java Puzzlers, to let kids learn where the pitfalls are and get a better understanding of how things work.


    My video series, Squeak from the very start, is a very conscious
    effort to duplicate his style:




    Friends characterize my video style as being like a mentor in a
    pair-programming session.
I like the idea of kids pair-programming although I would think you would need to set some ground rules like (the "advanced" kid can't touch the keyboard).

FYI, I like your videos and have used them for myself.


    On 2/2/12 5:56 PM, Steve Thomas wrote:
    So I am taking a P2PU course On How
        to Teach Web Programmin to Free Range Learners and a couple
      of questions came up:


      So I pose them to the community:

        What makes examples good for novices?
        How do we tell if an example is good for novices?
      Also where can I find a good set of examples for learning

      It would be nice to have a curated set of "Great literature".
      Pointers to any research on the topic would be appreciated.




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