To give fellow teachers ideas for how they can teach our curriculum in a classroom setting, we are creating case studies. Here's how software engineer-turned-teacher Jenny Oliver builds upon our curriculum in her classroom.
This year, I was asked to teach a semester-long high school programming class at Grace International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I am a software professional of 30 years, not actually a certified teacher, so I was a little daunted by the prospect of creating and delivering a new curriculum. Fortunately, the KA programming course came to my rescue, giving me a base curriculum to extend.
We have a small class of 8 students, which I co-teach with my husband, also a software professional. On Mondays and Tuesdays, our classes are 45 minutes long and focus more on teaching and short exercises. On Thursdays, we have a full 80 minutes, which the students spend working on projects. On Friday, my husband finishes off the week with "What's in the News", highlighting topical news items, and "Technology Spot", introducing a variety of technologies from how computers and the internet work through to military grade cryptography.
We have a class wiki online, where we post all of our course content. The content is licensed CC-by-SA, so other teachers are welcome to build off it. Here are some of the extra exercises and projects that we’ve created for the course:
- Function Exercises and Testing Functions Exercises
- Object Exercises
- Object-Oriented Rock-Paper-Scissors Game
- Object-Oriented Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock Game
We’ve also introduced cryptography as a major component to the course. We use the CryptoCat IRC client for class communication, discuss cryptography-related current events in the news (based on the Security Now podcast), and watched the first five videos from Khan Academy on cryptography. We followed that with a programming exercise on Caesar Cipher Exploration.
We encourage our students to check out and comment on each other’s programs, by linking to them from a shared wiki page. Here are screenshots of a few favorites: