Tutor needed for college student

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Mon Oct 12 18:20:43 CDT 2020


You are taking it further than most of the high schools were 20 years ago.
It was incredibly rewarding when I could assist an epiphany, such as that 
arithmetic could be done IN binary/hex/octal, WITHOUT conversion to 
decimal/arithmetic/conversion back!

California mandated "Computer Literacy" in the Community College system. 
But, they didn't DEFINE it! It was left to college administators to make 
THAT decision.  Not even the curriculum committee could have input.  The 
administator would typically define computer literacy as being about half 
of what they knew.  And we had a guy who would write a memo about room 
change for a meeting in WordPervert, print it out, scan it, and attach the 
JPG to an email with subject of FYI and content of "See Attached".  Half 
of wht he knew wasn't even enough for the remedial job training for the 
digital sweatshop.

Then, ten years ago, California also added a mandate for "Information 
Competency".  Again undefined.  The state even permitted the schools to 
declare that they already had suitable courses or even that "Information 
Competency is adequately covered, diffused throughout the curriculum". I 
created a course outline for a single semester lower division 
undergraduate (community college) course introducing Information Science. 
I never got a chance to teach it :-( Our administration declared that 
topics such as Precision, Recall, Relevance, Bandwidth, File structures, 
information representations, Search Engine Optimization, computer/internet 
ethics, internet economics, internet history, etc. were inappropriate 
below grad school level.  (If THEY didn't know it, then there was no 
reason to permit teaching it, even though they permitted Chemistry and 

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at xenosoft.com

On Mon, 12 Oct 2020, Jim Manley via cctalk wrote:

> Cindy - if he can't find any other alternative, please feel free to forward
> his contact info to me, or send my e-mail address to him (a Reply To will
> expose it), cc: me.
> The rest of this is background for those who may be curious about the state
> of our educational system from someone on the inside - those with lives may
> return to them now.
> In the olden days, before CS was offered Pretty Much Everywhere, discrete
> math courses were often disguised by titles such as Finite Automata and
> State Machines and offered in Science or Engineering departments, while
> courses on Predicate Calculus, and Number Theory (e.g., Groups, Fields, and
> Rings) were typically required to be taken in Math departments.
> Some requirements have been gradually sliding down into earlier grades, to
> the point where Number Theory is now taught in small bites (pun fully
> intended) starting in middle schools as early as 5th grade (beginning the
> hierarchy with Whole numbers).  Eventually, a number type or two,
> properties, identities, etc., are added, potentially up through Real
> numbers in high school, depending on whether Physics and/or Advanced
> Electronics is going to be taken.
> Some states are mandating CS fundamentals in every grade, from K through 12
> (Virginia has come up with one of the best I've seen, as it includes
> sample lesson and unit plans in addition to the curriculum requirements).
> CS in K - 12 may sound ridiculous, but the sooner you can expose kids to
> the most basic concepts, it's much more likely they'll be able to continue
> the progression.  I've taught binary math to kindergartners using pennies.
> They don't know that a penny is 1/100th of a dollar, because they can't
> understand what either of those concepts are, but they do know that pennies
> are shiny (I go to the bank to get rolls of new ones) and they see that
> others who are older use them to buy things.
> I just use pennies to represent ones, and absence of pennies as zeroes in
> binary, usually in egg cartons to immediately show the organization of
> bits, and making more obvious where the absences are.  Kids learn how to
> read and say binary numbers (e.g., 10 isn't "ten", it's "one-zero", and
> they haven't learned decimal ten yet anyway, which is a good thing).  It's
> much easier to teach binary math first, and higher-order number
> representations later, than the other way around.
> Then, we go through the four rules for binary addition - zero plus zero
> equals zero, zero plus one equals one, one plus zero equals one, and one
> plus one equals zero and carry a one to the left.  It's easy for the kids
> to learn this by handling the pennies and moving them between egg carton
> depressions in accordance with those rules.  In later grades,
> multiplication by two by moving each penny one space to the left is
> likewise a piece of cake, as well as division by two by moving each penny
> to the right.
> When kids learn a concept, they get to keep the pennies used in that day's
> lesson, and kids will do lots of things to become shiny penny hoarders.
> That includes stealing other kids' pennies, whereupon, when, not if caught,
> we make a detour into computing ethics, which is one of the sets of
> concepts required to be covered in every CS course!
> BTW, one of the reasons that we have to get girls exposed to STEM in a
> friendly way as early as possible is because peer pressure against them
> excelling in STEM starts around the fourth grade.  I've actually overheard
> conversations among girls that young that go something like this: "Oh, you
> don't want to be too good at math and science because then you'll make the
> boys not like you because you're smarter.  Then, they won't ask you out on
> dates, you won't get married, and you'll never have kids and grandkids."  I
> am not making this up, and there are geographic/ethnic groups that
> reinforce this in spades - girls are supposed to get married after high
> school, have kids, and raise a family ... period.
> Based on what I've observed going on in K - 12 STEM in most states, I'm
> seriously wondering who will be keeping the lights on, let alone the rest
> of our infrastructure running, when I'm at the age where getting my
> favorite flavor of pudding will be the high point of my day.  People with
> humanities degrees (almost no universities offer true liberal arts programs
> any more, where science and math are given equal emphasis to literature,
> history, etc.) are now preferable to become STEM teachers than people with
> STEM degrees.
> Part of it is because there are now ten people with humanities degrees for
> each job opening requiring them, but there are upwards of two STEM jobs for
> each person with such a degree, so people with humanities degrees are
> simply cheaper to hire.  It's even worse in education, where recruiting
> people with STEM degrees is very difficult due to competition from
> commercial organizations, especially high-cost-of-living metro areas.
> Educational administrators almost all have humanities degrees now, as the
> old-timers who have STEM degrees and come up through the system are
> retiring as part of the continuing expansion of the number of Boomers
> leaving the workforce.  It's become a perfect storm, and that's not a Good
> Thing.
> We now return the rest of you to your Life, already in progress ...
> All the Best,
> Jim  KJ7JHE

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