I’ve been asked occasionally about my opinion about generative AI tools such as Chat GPT and their potential to disrupt the way we design and create. While I think there is a risk that fundamental knowledge and skill may erode as they are abstracted away by tools like these, I also think these tools create wonderful “jumping off points” for prototyping ideas. We still need a technically educated population to a) know what questions to ask, b) ask them in a precise way, and c) validate the results.
In this article, we will explore tools that enable students to leverage technology in informal contexts that facilitate problem solving in preparation for diverse workforce pathways. Technical solutions and automation aren’t just for Computer Science majors, and there exists a variety of platforms that support exploration and learning as well as productive applications of computing. Our goal is to democratize computing skillsets across all disciplines, and to give students the tools they need to bring computing and technology to their favorite subjects. This has the potential to enhance teaching and learning broadly, and to facilitate participation in computing with inexpensive (or free!) no-code or ubiquitous-code platforms.
In this workshop, we will explore opportunities to utilize Replit in the classroom for both small classroom exercises and assignments. We will integrate Replit projects with additional tools and techniques including GitHub Classroom and POGIL instructional methods.
In this article, we’ll explore GitHub classroom as a tool to manage classroom assignments. GitHub classroom creates assignments that students “accept” as git repositories. They can work with their repository on any computer and synchronize or backup their work to the GitHub cloud. Using GitHub practices like Pull Requests, students can request help from the instructor and receive line-by-line feedback right in the repository, all while developing good habits in the use of git repositories. Instructors can automate downloading and grading through scripting or through the GitHub Classroom Assistant tool. In addition, assignments can be specified as group assignments, which create shared repositories as you organize students (or as they self-organize) into teams. GitHub classroom also allows you to tie your assignments to a “starter repository” in which you can post boilerplate materials or code, instructions, rubrics, and FAQs that you can evolve over time.