We’ve had a tonne of fun coming up with our new “Interactive Web Pages with JavaScript” course. This course has been in the works for more than a year, and something we’ve wanted to do ever since our first Web.Comp in 2015. It’s also something we know that many teachers have been wanting for a long time. I had a quick look at our support inbox and found pages and pages of emails mentioning JavaScript dating back to 2013. Now we’re on the cusp of shipping it!

With all of that in mind though, it’s been a massive challenge both technically and pedagogically. Up front I wanted to give a huge shoutout to grokker Jess Norris who developed our new marker for JavaScript. We gave a talk last year about the development of that marker (you can watch it here). I also want to thank grokkers Jane Abrams and Shelley Cooper-White who I’ve been working closely with on the development of this course, and James Curran who convinced us to change track and ultimately made the course better. …

When we think about creativity and creative people we tend to think of famous artists, writers, musicians, photographers or more recently, film makers. Each of these use a different medium, some creating with words, others creating with pictures.

Today different technologies have enabled a huge growth of creative mediums. You can create through all the traditional avenues, like writing, music, film and painting — but Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube have created totally different forms of these mediums. …

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In August I gave a talk at PyCon AU in their Education track about students’ mental models of computation and how these mental models can cause misunderstandings and mistakes. When we teach coding, it’s common to focus on the syntax and composition of code, assuming that the “reading” of code will follow. For some students code just makes sense, but others struggle understanding what this stuff means. They need help reading code as much as writing it.

In this talk I go through some of the common ways that students might misunderstand code, and talk through practical solutions to help. By improving students ability to read and trace code, we improve their capacity to debug their own code, and to understand the implications of new concepts they learn. Hope you enjoy it!

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