The Gotham Gal and I just watched this TED talk. It's very thought provoking.
50 posts categorized "hacking education"
The Gotham Gal and I just watched this TED talk. It's very thought provoking.
The widget came down on Tuesday night at midnight. The DonorsChoose campaign I called Good Things Come To Those Who Code is over. Here are some stats:
Total Raised: $25,172
Students Helped: 8,551
I really appreciate the generosity of everyone who participated. The number to focus on is 8,551 students who will have their classroom experience improved in some way because of you.
Here's a list of all the DonorsChoose campaigns I have done on this blog over the years. There have been seven in total since 2007. In total we have raised almost $190,000 in this community for teachers and their classrooms via DonorsChoose. That is fantastic.
When I've written posts about the stuff I and others are working on to bring more computer science into the K-12 school system, I often hear "let me know how I can help." This post is about how you can help.
The Academy Of Software Engineering (AFSE), located in the Washington Irving Campus near Union Square in Manhattan, has a great program called iMentor. Every AFSE student is paired with a mentor who attends a monthly mentoring session at AFSE. These sessions are highly structured events where the student and mentor get to work together on things and get to know each other. The students and mentors are encouraged to email each other in the off weeks.
Most of the mentors at AFSE come from the tech sector but they do not have to be software engineers and most are not. The main thing is the students get to have a relationship with someone who cares about them and their education. It sounds like so little, but in reality, it is very powerful.
If you want to mentor a student at AFSE, you can apply to do that here. Just make sure to mention AFSE somewhere in the application and you'll be earmarked to mentor at AFSE.
Regular readers will recall this great program called TEALS that I've blogged about a few times that brings software engineers into schools to teach CS classes before they go to work. We have hosted two information sessions that have attracted almost 200 software engineers interested in teaching next school year.
We now have ten schools in NYC that have signed on to have a TEALS program in their school. We need 40 software engineers to do the programs in all 10 schools. The last time I checked, there were 24 who had applied. So we need some more applications. The deadline to apply is May 1st. You can apply online here.
Here's a map of the 65 schools around the country that have TEALS programs in their schools. The NYC closeup looks like this:
I realize this is just a drop in the bucket as we have thousands of schools in NYC. But seeing this map makes me very happy because we don't have a single TEALS school in NYC in the current school year.
If you are a software engineer working in NYC and want to teach computer science at one of these ten schools next year, please apply online. You can make a real difference and help bring opportunities to kids who want them badly.
Clayton Christensen's views on this topic were on display yesterday in the video of the week. For a different take on this topic, read AJ Jacobs' tale of a semester of online learning in todays' NY Times.
I laid out my thoughts on this topic a few months ago. There is no question that putting all of these lectures and knowledge online is going to change things. But I am also a big fan of what happens when a teacher and a small group of students get together in a classroom and real personal interaction happens.
When I wanted to understand how blogging tools were going to change things, I took up blogging. Last week I watched a University President talk about the Coursera class he is teaching and how he got his top faculty to do the same. That's the right idea.
It's hard to predict how impactful this stuff will be on higher ed, and we do know that real in person interaction is a huge part the learning equation. But these new tools will bring important changes. So if you are in the higher education business, you had better be getting your hands dirty with this stuff. The only way to really learn something is to do it yourself.
Great interview by Mark of one of my favorite thinkers.
We've been running the Good Things Come To Those Who Code campaign here on AVC for two weeks. We've raised about $12,000 from about 50 folks. That's a lot of generosity from a relatively small number. So thanks to everyone who has given to date.
I think we can do better and get more folks involved so I am going to throw out an incentive:
On September 23rd, here in NYC, we are going to throw a big party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of AVC. I am going to pay for this event and it is going to be open to everyone. It's going to be based on the "Cheers" theme that I've talked about from time to time here at AVC. I am going to tend bar and I hope that many of the AVC regulars can make it. I will share more details of this event as I nail them down.
We are going to have VIP passes for this event. Some of you have earned them by virtue of your participation here over the past ten years. But I am not going to announce the VIP list for a while. One way to get on the VIP list is to donate to the Good Things Come To Those Who Code campaign. The folks who have already donated are on the VIP list. If you want to join them, go here and give.
The AVC community hasn't done a DonorsChoose campaign since the Gotham Gal and I turned 50 and we raised something like $56k in the summer of 2011. I've been looking for a way to beat that and it has not been easy. That's a ton of money to raise in a month on a blog and hard to beat.
But the folks at DonorsChoose and I have come up with something awesome and I am excited to launch it today. For the next month we will be raising money for classrooms in schools that are helping their students learn to code.
Here's how it works. As you all know, I have been very involved in getting CS education into the NYC public school system. It all started with my relationship with Mike Zamansky at Stuyvesant High School which is documented in this NY Times piece. Stuyvesant has been helping their students learn to code for the past 15 years but they were almost alone in that effort.
Because of the efforts of the NYC Dept of Education and folks at City Hall, this coming school year there will be at least 30 high schools and middle schools in NYC joining Stuyvesant on the list of schools that are helping their students learn to code.
And I want to celebrate that. Here's how we are going to do it. We have a list of all the schools in NYC that are helping their students learn to code, including Stuyvestant, AFSE, and all the schools who are launching programs in the fall of this year. Any teacher in any of those schools (not just CS teachers) who has a DonorsChoose campaign going on is automatically on my giving page. We are going to bring good things to the schools that are bringing good things to their students. Good things will come to those who code. Maybe this will get the Principals to wake up and smell the coffee.
Finally, all of you are encouraged to tell us about schools in other parts of the country that are helping their students learn to code. Please leave the details in the comments to this post. The DonorsChoose folks will be combing the comments for additional schools to add to the list.
Of course, we want to bring a lot of funding to these schools and these classrooms. This community has been awesome at doing that and I am confident that all of you will continue to show tremendous generosity. I want to thank all of you in advance for that.
I will kick off this campaign with a donation to my friend Leigh Ann's Finch Robot campaign at the Academy For Software Engineering. The giving page for this campaign is here. And you will all notice the widget on the right rail. As my son Josh would say "let's go!"
In a couple weeks we are going to kick off a month long DonorsChoose campaign here at AVC. We haven't done one since August of 2011, when all of us raised $56,000 to celebrate The Gotham Gal and my 50th birthdays.
I will explain more about this new campaign we are going to do when it launches on April 1st. But in preparation for the campaign, I would like to remind everyone why DonorsChoose is so great. This profile of James Walter Doyle explains exactly why investing in teachers and their classrooms is so important.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the TEALS program in which software engineers help teach CS classes in NYC high schools on their way to work. The response to that post was incredible. We got 140 software engineers to express interest and over 100 attended the first information session early last week. We are off to a great start with this program in NYC already. Thank you everyone who has raised your hand to help with this effort. It is really gratifying to see so many people giving back.
The final one will be at Google on May 9th and will be open to Google employees only.
Finally, Kevin Wang, the founder of TEALS, will be giving a short talk about the NYC program at the NY Tech Meetup next week on March 19th at NYU's Skirball Center. That event is sold out but if you are going, you will hear about it there.
As I have made my way around to various high schools in NYC in the past year, I have found a rapidly rising demand from students for classes in software engineering and computer science. The kids know where the future is and they want help getting there. TEALS is a great way to help them do that and I am super excited about what it can do for NYC.