Tuesday, January 5, 2016

CS50xCedarville Weeks 10 – 12: Et tu, Brute?

On Monday we reinforced the discussion around Cyber Security, we used the clips from week 8 and the movie The Net.

At this point we discussed command line arguments and also demonstrated how a string works using GetString, similar to the video below
.

On Wednesday we spent time learning about the Caesar Cypher we started with the clip from
A Christmas Story
 


Before even getting on the computers we spent a class +homework working through deciphering and encoding messages by knowing the key and needing to guess the key with paper cipher disks.


Students began working on Caesar.c and by now I developed a routine.  On day two of a new problem students “fly solo” meaning that the second day after a project is officially introduced (this week a Thursday) I don’t provide assistance beyond the initial introduction of the problem. This is an opportunity for me to note misconceptions, gather information about what they really are getting from lectures and force students to actually solve the problem for themselves.  They can ask classmates questions and I answer general questions or clarify expectations but I don’t start helping them with code or the algorithm until day 3. 
Students spent approximately 8-9 class periods on this assignment.

Note: The Cloud 9 IDE has helped with providing students an opportunity to work on problems outside of class.  We use it via CS50 as we are all signed up for CS50 on edx.org. At the beginning of the year we were using the appliance on lab computers.  Now students can work from home.  The downside in our rural location a few of the students do not have home Internet access and it is a bit of a distance to the libraries and coffee shops. With this said, most of the time working on problems is spent in class and homework assignments are watching the video or videos associated with the assignment that many students can watch on their phones versus working on the problem.