Python Teach-In 2010
The Python Teach-In is a coordinated tutoring effort to help beginners learn Python while attending PyTexas.
Here are some benefits of a tutoring approach as compared with a lecture format:
- Beginners experience an engaged and helpful Python community
- Beginners can be routed to tutorials relevant to their individual skill level and interests
- Beginners can seek help in specific areas of need
- Tutors can help beginners get set up for the Python Koans lab
"Breaking the Ice" -- Forming social connection between beginners and veterans early in the day will break the ice for the "hallway track" and the RackSpace party in the evening
- One-on-one tutoring is generally more effective than a lecture format, and I'm convinced that the result will create a lot of interest in Python at local universities.
- Tutors who understand a subject well will find that they understand it better after tutoring
- Tutoring greatly enhances your ability to communicate what you understand.
Tutoring volunteers experience the satisfaction of helping make PyTexas a success, and of building the local Python community.
Making it Work
This effort requires a lot of volunteer tutors and a few volunteer tutorial coordinators. The idea is to allow tutors to rely upon their existing knowledge and set an expectation that tutors are merely designated knowledgeable individuals with a willingness to help.
What Tutor Volunteers Need to Do
Each tutor volunteer should become familiar with one or more of the TeachInTutorials2010, especially the Python Koans. Any volunteer should also feel free to expand the repertoire of suggested tutorials. Each tutor should also read the TeachInTutorFaq.
Register on the TeachInRegistration2010 page.
Arrive at PyTexas between 8am and 10am. Tutoring begins as soon as you're able show up (unless of course no students have arrived yet!) The minimum expected tutoring time is 10am-11am, but we hope most tutors show up by 9am.
What Tutor Coordinators Need to Do
Register as a Tutorial Coordinator on the TeachInRegistration2010 page.
- Recruit tutors! We need lots of tutors.
Stay in contact with other tutor coordinators, starting with BradAllen.
- Become familiar with which tutors have registered, and what subject areas and tutorials they have indicated they can cover.
Download a copy of the latest tutorial content the day before PyTexas. Burn CDs and have some cheap flash drives handy for distributing files to tutors and students.
- Arrive early; 8am is preferred. Coordinators need to be ready in case tutors and students show up early.
The day before PyTexas, we'll burn a handful of CDs containing the tutorial content, to be given to tutorial coordinators. The plan for distribution will be to copy the content to flash drives and pass them around. There will also be an easily type-able download link.
- At least one tutorial coordinators will handle receiving beginners into the tutorial room and interviewing them about what kind of tutorial they need.
- Outside the tutorial room, a different tutorial coordinator will initially meet with tutors briefly discuss which tutorials or subject areas each tutor has the experience.
- As new beginners and tutors arrive, the coordinators will move back and forth between areas handling introductions and assisting in getting people situated in the right places.
- The tutorial coordinators should attempt to arrange one-on-one tutoring as much as possible, but will keep tabs on what is happening and may be able to adjust if several students all want the same basic tutorial.
What the Registration Desk Needs to Do
- At the registration desk, attendees will be asked if they are beginners, tutors, or neither. Tutors will be given a badge with a distinctive color, and directed to the see the tutorial coordinators. Beginners will also be given a distinctive badge color, and be asked to go to the tutorial room and start getting setup. If they don't have a laptop, Baylor students will be told they can check one out at the library.
Scheduling and Rooms
- Registration will be getting setup around 8am, and we expect most attendees to start filing in by 9am. However if beginners and tutors show up earlier than 9am wanting to get started, they are free to do so!
The main tutorial room will probably be the large 70 seat room; that should ensure everyone is mostly in the same place at by 11am for the main part of the conference to be kicked off. However, we need to do some analysis on this; other rooms may be better suited for rearranging desks along the walls into a formation which better encourages collaboration. The rooms are documented on the VenueInfo2010 page.
- By 11am, most tutors and will be released from tutoring, while a few hardy tutors remain to help students as they progress on additional lab exercises over the next hour or two. Some tutors may find the experience of tutoring so rewarding and interesting that they have more than enough energy to carry on additional tutoring through the day. Of course, they'll get a break as the various beginner talks start up.