Sorting

You aren’t long into a computer programming course before you find yourself teaching or learning how to sort the contents of a list. Any computer science teacher will do the standards…

• sort an unordered collection of numbers in ascending or descending order
• sort a class list alphabetically
• sort groups of containers based on their capacity

While a quick read makes it sound like these are entirely different things and certainly they are to the eyes of a student learning to sort, they really aren’t. Computer wise, they all rely on being in some sort of order. Numbers or letters wouldn’t be terribly useful if they ultimately couldn’t be put in order.

The whole concept of sorting can be pretty academic or can actually be fun, particularly if you involve some activity or visualization to go with it. I’ve mentioned before how I actually have students “discover” an algorithm with 10 cards with the digits 0-9 on them, 10 people, and 11 chairs. The only rule is that only one person is allowed to stand up at a time.

The longer students stay in computer science, the more different sorting algorithms they learn. Over the years, I’ve taught many but truth be told, if I have to write a sort, the Bubble Sort and Selection Sort are the only ones that I have committed to memory. It’s actually one of those things that are easily found by any credible search engine.

Going back to visualizations, this a very interesting display.

Sorting Algorithms Animations

If you like moving things to clarify concepts, you’ll love this.

You’ll see a number of play buttons on the page and can play the animation by sort, by data type, or hey, all at once. Beyond the concept of learning how a sort works, knowing a number of different algorithms, the data, and the efficiency all become part of the learning package.

You’ve got to love something that makes a programming concept fun to visualize.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My Week Ending 2020-08-30

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.

You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Below are a selected few, with commentary, from the past week.

• It only makes sense, I guess. You need to rob a bit of the back to school shoe budget to buy masks and other things.
• We’ve heard so many stories about the difficulties of going back to school buildings. It’s got to be even worse for students with disabilities.
• The majority of students with the local Catholic School Board will be back in class in person.
• And here are the numbers from the Public School Board.
• Even the best and most experienced teachers will be in a new environment next month. Everyone will be a first year teacher.
• I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t a lot of principals who retire this fall. They’re going to be caught between so many people with vested interests in education.
• Fact checking for students may be more important than ever for students who end up with all or part of their learning at home.
• These are great tips for those that want to get the most from their Chromebook. They really are powerful devices.
• There really has been a great deal written about the Microsoft Flight Simulator recently. I haven’t played around with for years. Is it time to resume?
• I guess when you’re paid by the article, an article about round icons is news. I never felt left out with what I have now.
• When I was asked how long I’d been doing #FollowFridays, I found a reference here.
• The National Hockey Leagues suspends games in solidarity with other professional sports.
• These are good questions to ask about the functionality and uses of LMS when you’re considering putting students onto one. Hopefully, if your district mandates one, they’ve considered these things.
• So, if the Ministry of Education can flip flop, why not the local school district. Parents won’t mind making alternative changes for kids.

Blog Posts on
doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog are linked below. If you’re looking for a week in review for doug–off the record, you came to the right place.

#FollowFriday – August 28, 2020

https://wke.lt/w/s/S4r09Q

Zoe Branigan-Pipe guest hosted this past week. She joined Stephen Hurley and me to talk about Black Lives Matter, ETFO, politics, mathematics, and hip-hop teaching.

• Zoe Branigan-Pipe – @zbpipe
• Velvet Lacasse – @velvet_lacasse
• Tim King – @tk1ng
• Mark Chubb – @MarkChubb3
• Terry Greene – @greeneterry

Intro Song:

All of the podcasts are archived here.

Technology Troubleshooting

After a long time, we ended up stopping out television satellite service. Part of our solution was to pick up over the air channels.

I’d been unsuccessful in the past but tried something new and wow!

You can read all about it in this post that appeared on the blog on Saturday.

https://dougpete.wordpress.com/2020/08/29/54/

Video of the Week

Can you imagine running for a \$1 000 000 purse in front of empty grandstands? That was Mohawk Raceway Saturday night.

Photo of the Week

What Hurricane Laura looked like when it came to Essex County. Lots of bizarre cloud formations and rainfall as a consequence.

Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting for you. I honestly and truthfully appreciate your few moments reading my thoughts. Time willing, this summary appears every Sunday afternoon.

Be safe.

dp

This blog post was originally posted at:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com/

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.

Whatever happened to …

… fuzzy dice?

Not my idea, folks. This came from Sheila Stewart.

Things I get curious about/wonder what is online about their history and only wondered about that now… haha

Want this for a WHT… topic?

This will be a short reflection from my perspective. No, Sheila, I have never hung fuzzy dice from the mirror of any vehicle that I’ve owned and I can’t remember anyone whose vehicle I’ve driven in that having them either.

I have seen them on old beach blanket type movies though.

Now, on my own vehicle, I have hung a couple of things.

• my first GPS had a holder that would clip on to the rear view mirror. It was annoying since it also required power so there was this cable hanging down to the power connector…
• my first portable XMRadio device. It was truly portable like a phone or iPod. In the car, you’d have to connect an antenna and a power source. Double the cables…
• parking permits. When I taught at the university, I had a hanger that would go over the rear view mirror connection and stop me from being ticketed or towed. A night’s wages would go quickly paying for a fine…

That’s about it. These days, there’s nothing hanging from my mirror. I do see a lot of things hanging from other vehicles while dog walking and they are … typically face masks. I read somewhere that the sunlight isn’t good for them and so typically put mine on the seat beside me or on my pant leg.

For a Sunday, your thoughts …

• do you or did you hang fuzzy dice from your rear view mirror? (make Sheila happy by saying yes and explaining why)
• do you know anyone who did? Why did they?
• what have you hung from your mirror? If nothing else, it’s very convenient
• how do you handle transporting your face mask in the car?