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.