One of my favourite sessions that is held at the CSTA Conference is “Nifty Assignments”.
Nifty Assignments is a project to gather and distribute great assignment ideas and their materials by K-12 CS teachers for K-12 CS teachers. Each year a few assignments are showcased by the authors at the Nifty Assignments session held at the annual CSTA conference. It is intended to be a replica of (and homage to) the highly successful, and longstanding, Nifty Assignments session at the Annual ACM SIGCSE conference devised by Nick Parlante.
Of course, there are rules – and a philosophy.
Anyone who has ever taught Computer Science knows that the problems included in textbooks can be simple and often not all that inspiring. You know that you end up creating many (most?) problems on your own. Make them relevant to your class, cover the concepts you’re teaching, engage students, etc.
Well, there’s one great Computer Science textbook – the greatest of all time Oh! Pascal! But beyond that, Computer Science teachers know the drill.
So, Nifty Assignments is an attempt, via session at the conference to address that. It’s very popular; whatever room it’s held in seems to always be packed and this year was no different.
The nifty resource can be found here.
This year’s collection has the following topics.
The slidedeck for the presentation is available as well. Check it out here.
Follow the links on the individual topics to get to the details for these five great, er, nifty assignments.