Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

Displaying PDFs via the iPad

I used the iPad’s external screen output for the second time today (the first was trying out Chopper 2 with the TV as the screen and iPhone as controller) – this time not just as an experiment.

I have a set of revision worksheets (all PDFs that I inherited many years ago – I might have Word documents somewhere, but I’m not sure where).  Going over the questions in class, I can simply read the question out loud (but people don’t listen well enough and can’t ‘go back’ to it), or write it on the board (slow, handwriting code is problematic when you’ve got messy writing), but ideally it’s projected. Continue reading

D520 Week Three – 2010

Last year Chapter Four of IronPython in Action was covered over two weeks (the lab is also a two-part exercise), and I felt that worked fairly well, so kept the same plan for this year, although the exact parts that were covered each week changed.  As usual, the students received notes [PDF], and a lab exercise [PDF], and two recommended reading items, both by Brent Simmons: one on how improving quality is non-linear, and one on how your own code is always improving.  The notes again cover the textbook, key points, and example code (although most of the example code is MultiDoc, so just links to the online copy. Continue reading

D520 Week Two – 2010

No radical changes from either last year’s week two or last week.  In a way, this is the real first week – in the previous week we learn about the course and about what IronPython is (and remember how to program in Python), but we don’t do much more than that.  In the second week, we really get into doing some actual IronPython programming.  I gave the students notes [PDF], and the first assessed lab exercise [PDF], and the recommended reading was two Joel Spolsky posts: one on (IT) customer service and one on how hardware improvements impact software design.  The notes are again in three sections: textbook chapters (this week is Chapter Three, a fairly essential introduction to .NET and IronPython), key points, and example code (from Chapter Three).  The lab is essentially the same as in previous years. Continue reading

What happened to the 2009 IPy Notes?

Around this time last year, I started posting weekly reports on the IronPython classes I was teaching at Northtec, including copies of the material that I was giving the students.  These stopped abruptly around the middle of the course.  The course did complete (and was fairly successful – I think the change to IronPython was definitely for the better), and I did continue making notes as I taught.  However, I didn’t manage to get them online.

On the 10th of October 2009, my father passed away (very unexpectedly, of a heart attack the day before).  As a result, I didn’t have as much extra time as I had anticipated, and I didn’t really have the energy/motivation to post the notes.  (The classes continued, except the week of the funeral, where the hours were halved).

The course began again last week (21st July 2010), and I’m going to try this again.  As I go, I’ll complete the 2009 notes as well (some/all of the links in the 2009 ones are broken, which I’ll fix, and when I get to where the notes stopped, I’ll post the notes that I took last year, although these will be less exhaustive than if I had done them at the time).

No promises, but I expect that I’ll be able to post throughout the entire course this year, and I’ll again make the material that I use available (you may use it under a Creative Commons license if you wish, although much of the material is references to IronPython in Action).

I had planned to present a short summary of the experience of using IronPython in this way at PyCon NZ, but I’m again unable to make it this year (for happier reasons – a close friend is getting married that day); perhaps next year!  I’m still interested in hearing from anyone else that’s using IronPython in the classroom.

More notes coming soon

I am still putting together the weekly D520 notes. However, the last couple of weeks have been a bit busy and so they’re waiting to be cleaned up and have links added. The intra-semester break starts next week so I’ll catch up then.

D520 – Week Six

Chapter 6 of IronPython in Action covers “properties, dialogs, and Visual Studio”.  This seemed an obvious place to insert the material on user-interface design that is normally covered in the course, and to look a bit more deeply than the textbook does at Visual Studio itself (and the Windows Forms controls and their properties).  I only scheduled a single week to cover this, but I suspected that it might take more than one (I left an empty slot in the schedule to cover one such over-run), and that was, indeed, the case.  The students received notes [PDF], slightly longer this week (covering the UI design material not in the textbook, as well as the usual chapter summary, key points, and examples, and the steps required to install IronPython support in the ‘Experimental Hive’ Visual Studio SDK), and a fairly simple lab exercise [PDF]. Continue reading

D520 – Week Five

Chapter 5 of IronPython in Action deals with XML, although it starts out covering some of the more advanced things you can do with functions.  I considered skipping this chapter (the function material is perhaps a bit advanced, and covering XML isn’t a necessity), but decided that it was worth learning about XML in .NET (since it’s so common) and that it would make using the MultiDoc example tricky (since the file format is XML) and I really wanted to use MultiDoc.  I gave the students notes [PDF], again covering the textbook material that we could look at, the tools (unchanged), key points, and a link to the MultiDoc example code.  We had a new lab exercise [PDF] this week (implementing Conway’s Game of Life), as well as two new recommended reading articles: a Lukas Mathis post about preferences and another Spolsky post, this one about “architecture astronauts”. Continue reading