About

I come from a fine arts background, but have been teaching computer classes in a NYC prep school since September 2002. I went to Cooper Union for painting and worked as a photo editor until going NYU’s ITP program eight years after graduating from Cooper. After ITP, before teaching, I worked as an Information Architect.

What I found special about ITP was the process. You came up with an idea and then you figured out how to implement it. This might mean learning a new programming language on your own. Sometimes the project didn’t work out, but that was okay because you learned something that could be applied to the next one. I am particularly fortunate in that the school where I teach does not believe in grades. It believes in the process. When you don’t worry about failure, you are open to trying new things.

While ITP provided a basic introduction to programming (when I was there it was through Director and Basic), I have picked up most of what I know through books, tutorials and talking to knowledgeable people. Over the last ten years I have read a lot of books, done a considerable amount of research on various topics and have taken many classes. As a member of NYCResistor, I have come in contact with amazing people, each with a wealth of knowledge and a desire to share and know more.

Besides learning new technologies, I have been fascinated by how people learn. I’ve taken many classes, from physical computing to French to canyoneering. Each class has given me a little more insight into the learning process. For instance, when repelling, some people like to just jump off the cliff and figure it out as they go, I, on the other hand, need a plan. I want to know what to expect and when to expect it. I need a lot of information in order to have the confidence to try something new. What I got from the class is that when dealing with more than one student, you have to provide several approaches to a topic.

Over the years I have spent time refining what I teach and how I teach it. I want to keep my students engaged. I want them to want to know more and to push themselves further than they believe they can go. Some of the topics we cover in class, like iPhone programming, might seem a little advanced, but I think if there is an interest, there are no limitations. Sometimes my plans don’t work as intended and what works with one group of students does not always work for another. But, tomorrow is another day and I think of it as a fresh start.

The goal of this blog is to share my collected research on various topic, including physical computing, animation, modeling and programming.

3 comments

  1. Bogdan says:

    Hi Liz ! I’ve discovered your blog 10 minutes ago. I think I am going to stick to it for a while. This is exactly what I need. A slow pace introduction to electronics. Just got my Arduino Mega tonight. I am a bit overwhelmed. Love the way you write and teach. You are a very warm and kind teacher. Will browse you blog some more now. Good luck !

  2. Don Domes says:

    Liz is right on in her comments about learning. “What I got from the class is that when dealing with more than one student, you have to provide several approaches to a topic.” There is a classic question in eduction: Which teacher is the most effective; 1) The one that stands in front of the desk, 2) the one that stands behind the desk, or 3) the one that stands on top of the desk? The actual answer is the one that does all three, for the very reason that Liz describes. In reality that old classic question actually misses the entire point of what it takes to have learning occur in the classroom. It is really not about the teacher, it is about the student! The real question is what are the learning styles in the classroom and how can we provide developmentally appropriate enviornments to match up to those learning styles so we get the most learning occuring with the time alloted. Todays effective classroom needs learning going on in many ways!

    Bravo to you Liz for your committment to all students.

  3. Zengirl2 says:

    Love your way of teaching and also like your take on electronics. Tinkering with Arduino now and the more I play, the more it starts to make sense. Thanks so much for posting so many projects. If you are in Philly, look up The Hacktory. :)

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