-This guy can’t teach…

You are absolutely right. I cannot teach at all. I am not a teacher.
I am an educator, I educate.

One difference is that a “teacher” assigns homework and then spends class time reviewing the homework.

This lets students avoid doing the homework in anticipation of learning it the next class period. Meanwhile, those that did the homework are destined to boring class time as they are forced to redo what they have already done and are wanting deeper exploration. This is unfair and I don’t work this way. I educate. An educator shows you how to teach yourself and discover.

One of the worst ways to get you to cover the material is a “Now do this” approach. It leaves no discovery on your part to retain interest and information. The step by step approached went out when you left elementary school.

I allow students to get the basics on their own and use the class period to cover advanced levels of the assignments. Students are invited to ask questions in class but the students has to supply the question. This arises from doing the homework.


Use the Forum: You can also get to use this web page and course forum found in Moodle. In the forum, you can as a question where other course members may answer it as well as I might. To encourage use of the forum, not only is your activity in the forum graded and added to your final grade but often times I give full answers to your questions not just supposition to get you to think is. As I see it, the ability to frame your question is the learning experience in itself.

If you know your question before class then you should get credit by asking your question on-line in the forum. Not only would you have received a more extensive answer than I could ever have given in class but we would have had enough time to diagnose your program and provide an answer so you, and all others that may have had the same question, will benefit.

Ask me by e-mail: Before I can answer a question in the classroom, I have to know what it is and see how to fit it into the lesson plan. If you wait until class time to ask, you lost time and I may well tell you to send it to me.

When we ask a question in class or you are doing board work, you make mistakes. How can we know how to do it if you cannot do it?

Easier to respond to this with a quote from “An appetite for Wonder” by Richard Dawkins:

Too many students think that the lecture is a place where you get information that you are going to need on an exam. That is not what a lecture is for, that is what books are for, that is what now-a-days the internet is for. What the lecture is for is to show people how to think.

Watching a lecturer grasping out for a thought, reaching out for a thought, thinking out loud, changing his mind half way through a sentence, this is telling you how to think, that is what a lecture is all about. You can go out and get the facts afterwards.


“You don’t spend any time with the individual student.” This is correct. Do the math. With 20-25 students per class and only 80 minutes for a class, it allows scarcely a little more than three minutes per student and unless you already know what our question is, it is going to take at least that amount of time for you to explain what you need to know. If you do know your question, then it may take at least 10 minutes to diagnose your program. What’s worser is if others have the same question and I have to go to each to answer it. Take your question to the forum and let others answer it. This way I don’t have to continue answering the same question privately.

“If you can’t fix the problem then I shouldn’t have to either…” Not so fast there, grasshopper. You are creating your own project, writing your own code. Each project is different. My diagnosing your code is not unlike asking a chef to figure out why your cake failed by looking at the finished cake itself. A chef would ask you things like “At what temperature did you cook it?” and “What ingredients did you use?”. Debugging code is similar. Not having seen or worked with your code makes it extremely difficult to see where an error is. When you describe your problem, believe it or not, many times you will see the answer.

When you help someone else find errors in code, tou teach/reinforce what you know. If you do assist someone, be sure to keep your mitts off the mouse and keyboard otherwise you are robbing the student of kinesthetic learning.

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