Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Python Education Summit — in its 5th year in 2017!

Teachers, educators, Pythonistas, come and share your projects, experiences, and tools of the trade as you teach coding and Python to your students. The “Call for Talks” to speak at the Annual Python Education Summit, which is held in conjunction with PyCon, is open until January 3rd. We want to hear from you!

Go here for more details: https://us.pycon.org/2017/speaking/education-summit/

We are looking for ideas and experiences and best practices: how teachers and Python programmers have implemented Python instruction in their schools, communities, and other places of learning.

  • Have you implemented a program that you’ve been dying to talk about?
  • Have you tried something that failed, but learned some great lessons that you can share?
  • Have you been successful implementing a particular program?

Then we urge you to submit a talk! You do not need to be an experienced speaker. We want you to share knowledge; we want to learn from your experiences.

This year, talks that focus on the challenges and triumphs of implementing code education are especially encouraged.

About the Python Education Summit

The Education Summit was started by Naomi Ceder in 2013: https://us.pycon.org/2013/events/edusummit/

The goal of the Summit was to form a coalition of teachers and educators from various walks of life who believe in teaching programming and using Python as a tool to do so. Since then, the Education Summit has become an integral part of PyCon, and 2017 will be its 5th year!

The structure of Education Summit has changed since its inception. In 2013 the Summit was by invitation only — it consisted of three discussion panels focusing on curriculum, teaching and engagement. Following lunch, the Summit transformed into a workshop where attendees could mingle and discuss topics from the morning sessions.

But from 2014 onwards the Education Summit became a whole-day event, with both morning and afternoon talks. The proposals for these were invited via a CFP. Some topics that were presented were on Teaching Data Science with Python, FOSSBox, et cetera.

You can check out the list of talks presented at Pycon 2015. Some that stood out to me were an uplifting talk about Women in Peru and how the outreach activity there is encouraging young women to take Python. Another one was how to use Trinket to create games! There is a recent article on Eliot Hauser who presented this talk, and how his product is now benefiting K-12 students and being used in schools.

In 2016, the talk list grew even further! There were two tracks, and the talks were recorded. A variety of talks were presented. This led to some great discussions, friendships, and engagements that went beyond PyCon. An excellent keynote on the Python Education Working Group and the micro:bit was presented by Nicolas Tollervey. This gave us insight on Python and Education activities in the United Kingdom. We learnt how one can attract younger minds to coding through games, with a talk on Pygame Zero and Minecraft. Teachers gave us excellent insight into their Python curricula and methods of teaching. The unconference sessions that followed further fueled the discussions and filled us all with renewed vigor and motivation to do something and make a difference!

Personally, I am full of gratitude to the Python Community and the Python Education Summit. My participation and learning has led to fruition and I was able to launch PyKids in the Summer of 2016 with the goal of teaching Python to grade schoolers. I have had much success — 7 after-school sessions this Fall with 5th graders, and a promise of new students in early 2017!

We hope to see you at the Education Summit this year. Hurry! January 3rd is the Talk Submission deadline — so pen down your thoughts and ideas and send them to us now.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Talk, Poster, Education Summit proposals due January 3rd — but feel free to submit them now!

With the holidays nearly here, this is the moment to ask yourself: are you really — when you return groggily to work on Tuesday January 3rd following the “New Year’s (Observed)” holiday on Monday — going to remember to write and submit your Talk, Poster, and Education Summit proposals for PyCon 2017?

Waiting until the last minute is very tempting. After all, the whole reason that we worked with the Talk and Poster committees to move the deadline as close to PyCon as we dared was to let you submit as current and as up-to-date a proposal as possible.

But — are you sure that you want to risk starting your first work day of the New Year (if your schedule even puts you back at work by the 3rd!) with a conference deadline looming only hours later?

I myself am adopting a safer approach this year: I will be going ahead and submitting all of my proposals this week, ahead of the holidays. Then, if I do remember the deadline, I can always log into the PyCon web site on January 3rd and use the “Edit” button to make all of the last-minute revisions that I want. But if I forget? Then at least an early version of each proposal will be in the system and can be considered by the Program Committee!

As was true last year, our schedule is designed to allow Financial Assistance submissions to include any Talk, Tutorial, Poster, or Education Summit proposals that you get accepted:

  • January 3 — Talk, Poster, and Education Summit proposals due, as long as it is January 3rd Anywhere on Earth (AoE).
  • February 1–12 — Talks, Tutorials, Posters, and Education Summit schedules announced.
  • February 15 — Financial Assistance applications due.
  • March 3 — Financial Assistance grants awarded.
  • March 30 — Your deadline to respond to offer of Financial Assistance.

One final note: more than 90% of our Early Bird tickets are now gone, with only a few dozen remaining. If you have hoped to purchase your Student, Individual, or Corporate ticket at our discounted rate, then your time is almost up — register as soon as you can, and we look forward to seeing you in Portland in May 2017!