Teaching Technology at DevTO - July 28 2014


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The purpose of this talk is to inform the dev community about how and what we teach our students. This is a two way conversation. We wish to gather information from the community as to whether or not we are teaching the right stuff.

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  • Apologies for all the text. I’m used to putting all the details in the slides.
    I’m going to layout what our students are being trained for, which takes up the majority of this presentation. Then, I want to hear from you as to what exactly we should be teaching them.
  • I would also like to give a shout out to one of my fellow faculty members at Sheridan College, Anna Bonar. Thank you for coming.
  • These are two of ICCIT’s grads just over a month ago, one of whom is now my co-instructor. Happy belated birthday to him for Friday.
    These students finish with a bachelor of arts, unlike the Ryerson BTM program who finish with a B.Comm. Remember, these students aren’t being trained to be the programmers, but they have enough business acumen to figure out the needs of a client, come up with use cases and translate it to key players, especially programmers and developers such as yourselves. I believe we are teaching them the right things, but I want to know from you.
  • In most cases, there are 3 courses for each of these areas
  • Three courses: Intro, Intermediate and Advanced
  • Taking what they’ve learned in the other areas, such as design, and implement it on the web
    The last assignment is meant to pull the design and information architecture pieces together.
  • Networking: How many of you in the room are my students? How many of you are exchange?
    This was to address a concern that I’d heard that new grads don’t know how to network. Make them ready for the world, no matter what they choose to do. But not everyone thinks this is a good idea. I had one student who said this was completely useless to them.
    Capstone will pair them with real clients.
  • What we realized is we weren’t teaching them enough code. But this type of teaching is still valuable.
    The reason we went with more WordPress is that students would then have something they could leave the college with and start earning right away.
  • with Traditional Brick And Mortar Institutions
    We use many real world resources and pool together the resources that the students will hopefully use in the future.
  • Teaching Technology at DevTO - July 28 2014

    1. 1. Teaching Tech Shanta R. Nathwani, Sheridan College
    2. 2. Teaching Tech - Introduction The purpose of this talk is to inform the dev community about how and what we teach our students. This is a two way conversation. We wish to gather information from the community as to whether or not we are teaching the right stuff.
    3. 3. About Me • Instructor, Sheridan College • Web Design and Capstone Project • Independent IT and Social Media Consultant • Clients include NPOs, Real Estate, Software Development, Financial and Political Sectors • Bachelor of Commerce in Info Tech Mgmt., Ryerson University 7/25/2014Shanta R. Nathwani 2
    4. 4. About Our Students • Joint program with University of Toronto at Mississauga: Institute of Culture, Communication, Information and Technology and Sheridan College • Training them to be translators, not necessarily the developers
    5. 5. What Do We Teach Them? At Sheridan: • Principles of Design • Web Design • Graphic Design • Game Design • Photography and Video At UTM: • Business • Technical
    6. 6. CCIT Web Design At Sheridan College - Intro •Intro: •The Culture of the Internet and how it all fits together •HTML & CSS •Assumes no prior knowledge of coding
    7. 7. CCIT Web Design At Sheridan College - Intermediate •Intermediate: •WordPress •Information Architecture •Given themes and expected to fix them (Damage Control) •Take a given theme and a piece of public domain literature and make it a website (Document Machine)
    8. 8. CCIT Web Design At Sheridan College - Advanced •Advanced: •This semester, we are teaching them widgets, themes and plugins in WordPress •Networking •Changes every time! •Last year, we put them with real clients. Now, it’s a new course (Capstone)
    9. 9. We Adapt – CCT460: Advanced Web Design • Winter, 2013 • Paired groups with real clients • Created a new course (Capstone): CCT406 – Launches in the Winter of 2015 • Summer, 2013 • Mobile App design • Real world examples in their own life • Winter, 2014 • More coding • Introduction to GitHub (mandatory for the course) • Summer, 2014 • More WordPress!
    10. 10. Challenges •Why come to us when you can code on your own? •We teach them how to learn •External resources (GitHub, WordPress Codex, W3Schools, etc.) •As much as we can adapt, the amount of time that it takes to turn it around is not fast enough. i.e., Two years from idea to running the course. •Receive an accredited degree and certificate.
    11. 11. Learning and Teaching Has Changed •Have attended and spoken at three WordCamps this year so far. Scheduled at another two and submitting for another two. (#WordCampTour14) •Exposure of the “experts” draws students to the institutions. Marketing function •Brings most up to date knowledge back to the students and learning from the community.
    12. 12. Thank you! Questions? Thoughts?