CMK 14 Day One: Finding my way

Other Nametag Table
Other Nametag Table (Photo credit: lorda)

It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours.   Yesterday was a big day.  We began with Gary Stager talking about what CMK is about, finding out who was in the room (mostly private schools, weirdly), and giving us a preview of what was about to come.  We then shared what we wanted to make.  I came with a goal, a loose goal but a goal, to create art out of data.  I was kind of thinking physical art, an installation or something.  And, as things shook out, there were others interested in this idea.  So we all staked out a table near the Arduino stuff.  I was ready to just kind of dive in, because that’s what I do.  But 6 or so of the people at the table had never used an Arduino before or coded, which is, you know, why they’re here.  So they spent a chunk of time learning about the Arduino and well, I got bored.

So I went to lunch with a fellow traveler feeling the same frustration.  We had some great tacos and when we got back, we decided to do our own thing.  And, I feel guilty about this, because I think I’m going to get the “does not play well with others” comment on my report card.  But Gary did tell us to be selfish with our time, and teaching others Arduino is what I do in my day job.  I’m here to learn something new.

So, here is where I am now.  I’m going to create, to start with, a graphical representation of some kind of data.  I might use Processing.  I’m going to start with Python because that’s what I’m familiar with but because Processing has some better graphics options, I’m hoping to shift to that.  On the data end, I’m starting with weather data, but in general, I’m just exploring some APIs for pulling data off the web, something I have been wanting to explore for quite a while.  I feel like I kind of spun my wheels a bit yesterday and now I feel behind.  I’m planning to kind of isolate myself a little this morning, just until I get some things working.  I’m feeling the need to make significant progress.

On the social front, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I’ve met some very interesting people and connected with many that I follow on Twitter or whose blogs I read, and vice versa.  So many people have said, I read your blog.  Which is totally cool, and I’m so very flattered by that.  It’s great to have some like-minded, but diverse, people to share ideas with, to hear what they’re doing at their school.  I’m looking forward to more of that today.  All in all, it was a good first day with some ups and downs, mostly up, and I expect the same today.

3 Replies to “CMK 14 Day One: Finding my way”

  1. I’m not surprised that most of the teachers there are from private schools. My experience is that private schools tend to give teachers more freedom to develop their own teaching style and curriculum than public schools do. I think that is in part because private schools are under more pressure to change and move with the times. Parents who chose to pay for private education do so because they want something different from what they see in public schools. Or at least that is how it looks from where I sit.

  2. I think you’re right, but it’s interesting that private schools make up maybe 1-2% of the population, but at this conference, it’s probably 90%. It’s a shame, really.

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