HKU 2012 Summer Workshop – Day 3

So sad that I could not get a holiday for the past two days, otherwise I wont be joining the workshop 2 days late. The workshop is back. There are teachers that I have worked with before, there are new faces, among them Olivier Ottevaere who co-direct the course, a new teacher in the department.

This year we are experimenting with new Grasshopper teaching method by using less hard-core tutorials, more design oriented examples, the students have a design task to complete . At the mean time, I am taking an online lecture, the CS50 from Havard through iTunesU trying to see how others would orchestrate a software tutorial/lecture. David J. Malan from CS50 is doing an amazing job there. There are amazing teachers like him who could teach in a fun and relaxing way even on hard-core subjects like programming, if you have ever tried teaching programming, it is super difficult to keep the students happy, making them understand, and get the speed right. One trick I learnt from David is how to schedule what goes first and what goes next, the sequence of teaching matters a lot in how people will understand an programming logic. A good teacher would also show tricks and techniques from the students perspective, being critical in selecting what concepts to explain and skip the less important one to keep the students focus.

I gave two sessions of Grasshopper tutorials today, focus on data types, curves, surfaces, what they are and how to manipulate them, also showed them how to map a point from 2D to a cylinder (their design studio is working with blue barrels as building blocks). Since I don’t have a laptop, I grabbed one of the students to sit beside me on the stage while I used her computer. This made me speak better in some way then just standing there alone, especially sometimes it feels like talking to air. At least I could have some human response when I need.

I’ll stay 8 more days till the end of the advanced level. Lets see what might happen.