Archive for December, 2022

A Workshop on Slow Reveal Graphs for Social Studies Teachers

My collaborator, Tammy Shreiner, is running a workshop for social studies educators on teaching with Slow Reveal Graphs. The idea of slow reveal graphs is that visualizations are just too complex for students to pick out all the visual elements. Instead, a slow reveal graph is presented in stages, and at each stage, students are prompted to reflect (and discuss, or write about), “What do you notice now? What do you wonder about?”

Tammy has been building a bunch of slow reveal graphs that really fascinating. I’m particularly amazed at the ones that she and her colleague Bradford Dykes have been building. They are taking hand-drawn visualizations (like the fascinating ones by W.E.B. Du Bois) and recreating them in R, so that they can generate the slow reveal process.

She’s offering a workshop in January that I highly recommend.

Dear friends,

I am writing to share information about a professional learning opportunity focused on teaching primary source data visualizations using the “slow reveal” process. The PLO will take place on Zoom over two Saturdays, January 21 and 28, 9:00-noon. It is open to teachers inside and outside of Michigan.

Please share the attached flyer with your social studies teacher colleagues. A sneak peak of the website that we will share with participants is below.

Thanks for sharing!


December 5, 2022 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Launching PCAS, the first two COMPFOR classes, and hiring our first lecturer

I last gave an update on the Program in Computing for the Arts and Sciences (PCAS) here in February (see blog post). Since then, it’s become real. I was hired as of July 1 as the Director of PCAS. My Computing Education Task Force co-chair, Gus Evrard, is the Associate Director. We even have a website:

I am building and teaching our first two courses now. I love our course code: COMPFOR. It stands for “COMPuting FOR…” The two courses are:

  • COMPFOR 111 Computing’s Impact on Justice: From Text to the Web
  • COMPFOR 121 Computing for Creative Expression

I have never worked harder than this semester– building these two courses, teaching both courses at the same time, learning how to be a program director (e.g., explicit classes and workshops on academic leadership, on evaluating faculty, and on how University of Michigan budgets work), and creating the program. I am having enormous fun.

I plan to write more about the two courses here and our innovations in teaching them. Here’s a brief summary. We are using teaspoon languages to introduce concepts, Snap for programming assignments, and Runestone ebooks for helping students to transfer their knowledge from blocks to traditional textual languages (Python, Processing, and SQL). I gave a talk for the CS for Michigan Conference a few weeks ago, and for the attendees, I created a page connecting to some of what we’re building and a narrative account of a couple of the units:

We have been given permission to hire our first lecturer: Right now, it’s a one year position for 2023-2024, but if enrollments grow, we have been encouraged to request three year positions starting in Fall 2024. Please do forward this job announcement to anyone you think might be interested. It’s also available in other places like CRA:

December 4, 2022 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Doing a Little Housekeeping and Rebranding

I discovered today that I have written over 2,500 blog posts here on WordPress, starting in June 2009. There was a time when I was writing daily. This is the first post I’ve written here since June. From a pace of a new post every day, to once every six months.

Our lives change so much from year to year. Thirteen years feels like so many changes ago. I live in a different state, working for a different University. Even the name of the department where I work has changed — I was in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. Now I’m in the Division of Computer Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan and I direct the Program in Computing for the Arts and Sciences.

I changed the name of this blog once before. When I started out here in 2009, there were few websites and blogs on computing education. I just called it the Computing Education Blog. But as the field grew and there were more and more terrific sites helping teachers do computing education, I renamed the site Computing Education Research Blog. My focus was on the research, and not on how to be a great computing educator.

Today, there are many great resources even on Computing Education Research. I particularly recommend I attended one of their on-line panels this last week — such interesting ideas and such a wonderful and diverse group of researchers.

I have been reticent to post under a banner saying “Computing Education Research” because this site has pretty broad visibility now. There are many more subscribers than the first few years. Newcomers might come here with that title and expect to read a newsletter or an authoritative perspective on the field — that’s an overwhelming responsibility. I recognize that I’m a senior (read: “old”) voice in the field, but I am just one of many voices in the field. Like any academic, I want to share what we’re working on and what I’m thinking about. I do not want to my posts here to appear like I’m speaking for the field.

So, I have renamed the blog for a second time: Computing Ed Research – Guzdial’s Take. This blog represents my perspective. That’s how I’ve always thought of the blog, but I want to make it explicit.

I have updated the Guzdial Papers page for the first time in a decade, and changed the About page.

Thanks for reading!

December 3, 2022 at 10:25 am 3 comments

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December 2022

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