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tips & tricks

Tips to run Zoom meetings for online coding session

By | blog, tips & tricks, tutorial, Volunteers

We use Zoom to run our online mentorship sessions. It offers several features to give hosting and attending a session a more personal connection. Read on to learn about breakout rooms, polls, screen sharing, remote control, and troubleshooting common issues for hosting a Zoom meeting.

Zoom room

Zoom Break-Out Rooms

Break out rooms are a great way to hold smaller coding sessions off of a larger group meeting. It can provide a space for 1:1 mentorship or can provide a group of learners working on a specific skill, language, or project.

Admins – Setup a breakout room:

Prior to meeting go to the Zoom website:
Account -> Settings -> Break-out Room (very far down the page, ctrl+f to search) and switch it ON.

PRE-ASSIGNMENT

You can pre-assign users to breakout rooms before a session based on emails, or just assign during the call. If people register for the session using a different email then the pre-assignment will not work.

Note: It may be best to allocate 5 minutes during a session call to assign individuals.

To pre assign:

  1. Click Meetings, then Schedule a Meeting
  2. In the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Create Rooms.
  3. Click the plus icon beside Rooms to add breakout rooms.
  4. Hover over the default breakout room name and click the pencil icon to rename.
  5. In the Add participants text box, search for participants’ name or email address to add them to the breakout room. Then save.

To assign during the call:

  1. Start an instant or scheduled meeting.
  2. Click Breakout Rooms.
  3. Select the number of rooms you would like to create, and how you would like to assign your participants to those rooms:
    • Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms.
    • Manually: Choose which participants you would like in each room.
  4. Click Create breakout rooms.
  5. Actions from in the room:
    • Join: Join breakout room.
    • Leave: Leave the room and return to the main meeting (only shows when in a breakout room).
    • Close All Rooms: Stops all rooms after a 60 second countdown, returns all participants back to the main meeting.

Zoom Polling

Ensure Polling is enabled for all members of a specific group or all users:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an administrator with the privilege to edit user groups.
  2. In the navigation menu, click User Management then Group Management.
  3. Click the name of the group, then click the Settings tab.
  4. Navigate to the Polling option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.
  5. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
  6. Start the scheduled Zoom meeting that has polling enabled.
  7. Click Polls in the meeting controls.
  8. Select the poll you would like to launch. Or, create a poll on the spot.
  9. Click Launch Poll.

Screen Share

  1. Green button in the middle of the bottom of the screen
  2. Share desktop for multiple applications
  3. Share application for Scratch or browser based applications

Annotations

Use annotations to draw on a shared screen.

Remote control

Request or give control of a computer so that a mentor can help resolve issues quickly.

  • Request: When someone is sharing > Zoom bar >
  • Give: When sharing your screen, Zoom bar > Remote Control > Give access to “select person”.

System preferences

Users will need to give Zoom permissions access to their system. Once a user has accepted an invitation to give control for the first time, their computer should open a dialog prompt to ask for permission. The person who requested control will only see that access has been accepted, but until permission is granted the requestor will not be able to control the user’s computer.

Trouble shooting

General

  • Multiple participants can share simultaneously, this can be tricky to navigate with one monitor and requires toggling back and forth between shared screens.
  • When someone opens a share screen it focuses screen and maximizes, this can be changed in your Zoom settings.

Chromebook

  • Annotations and request access do not work on Chromebook
  • Users cannot see the presenter when they sharing their screen on a Chromebook

ScratchEd and Harvard research teams guide to Introduction to Computing Using Scratch

By | blog, Scratch, tips & tricks, tutorial

CoderDojos across the world use Scratch as a way to introduce young people to fundamental coding concepts. The Scratch team have created AN INTRODUCTORY COMPUTING CURRICULUM USING SCRATCH. It consists of a teaching guide and student workbook. It was developed by members of the ScratchEd research team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

WHAT IS CREATIVE COMPUTING?

Creative computing is… creativity.

Computer science and computing-related fields have long been introduced to young people in a way that is disconnected from their interests and values – emphasizing technical detail over creative potential. Creative computing supports the development of personal connections to computing, by drawing upon creativity, imagination, and interests.

Creative computing is… empowerment.

Many young people with access to computers participate as consumers, rather than designers or creators. Creative computing emphasizes the knowledge, practices, and fundamental literacies that young people need to create the types of dynamic and interactive computational media that they enjoy in their daily lives.

Creative computing is… computing.

Engaging in the creation of computational artifacts prepares young people for more than careers as computer scientists or programmers. It supports young people’s development as computational thinkers – individuals who can draw on computational concepts, practices, and perspectives in all aspects of their lives, across disciplines and contexts.

Download

How To Learn To Code – Resources for continuing coding

By | blog, classes, tips & tricks, tutorial

What is code?

Code, in computing, is program language.

There are many different types of program languages used by different software and hardware. Just like the many human languages, program languages have rules to follow and spelling to consider. They also allow you to get creative within those rules.

Unlike human languages, different program languages can work together to create more powerful programs. Sometimes, one program language can greatly enhance another.

Before we can write our poetry with code, we must first learn some of the rules.

Web program languages

In web development, there are 3 types of languages that all do different jobs:

  1. Markup
  2. Document Object Model (The DOM)
  3. Server-side

You guessed right if you guessed that these languages work together.

Markup

Markup is what gives a web page it’s structure. HTML (or, Hyper Text Markup Language) is the old reliable champion of web markup. Every web browser is built to read HTML, though different browsers can read things slightly differently.

Think of a web page as a human body, it has different parts that do different things. Markup is like the bones.

<html>
<head></head>
<body></body>
</html>

DOM

The DOM, in a nutshell, is an object. In code, you can picture an object like a family tree. There are parents and children and grandchildren nodes, and they all have names and are unique.

The only difference here is that there will only ever be one parent.

Let’s pause and look around with Mozilla’s X-Ray Goggles tool. This tool is similar to more advanced developer tools, and it is performing an action called traversing the DOM.

https://goggles.webmaker.org/

JavaScript

Just as web browsers use the HTML standard to read markup, browsers also use JavaScript (also known (to the very nerdiest) as ECMAScript). JavaScript does an excellent job at DOM traversal, telling us information about what a user is interacting with on a web page.

It can be used to perform interactive tasks like popping up a slideshow gallery when you click a thumbnail image, or switch tabs within a web page. It can also be used to send and receive data in the background, silently, as a user interacts with the program.

Keep in mind, all things in the browser run on your computer, relying on your resources to do the work. This is known as ‘client-side’, browsers are the client.

Server Side

Server-side code gives a web page access to web server resources – this can include datestamps, access to data sources, and can perform program logic. This is often similar logic to JavaScript language, except it runs on this code is run on the web server, relying on those services to do the work.

Some examples of server side code are PHP, and Ruby. Similar languages, different manufacturers.

There is a performance trade-off coding for server vs client, tip for all the future pros in the room.

Code Lessons

HTML & CSS

http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/web

JavaScript

http://javascript-roadtrip.codeschool.com

Server Side

http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/ruby

Developer Tools

https://www.codeschool.com/courses/discover-devtools

Additional Resources

HOW TO BUILD A WEBSITE (HTML/CSS) – Website 101 walkthrough

By | blog, tips & tricks, tutorial
LEARN TO CODE, FOR FREE!
Sunday, February 23rd 2014 from 10AM-1PM
Bitmaker Labs – 20 Duncan Street, Toronto, ON – Unit 201

Toronto, ON – CoderDojoTo has free classes for young people to learn computer & code skills. By following our lead instructor’s visual presentation, students and mentors work together to create a unique web page.

You will need:

A text editor – The software we need to edit our code.
Text Wrangler for Mac (free) – http://bit.ly/1aakfTP
Notepad++ for Windows (free) – http://bit.ly/1g76DLF
Sublime Text for Windows (free trial)- http://bit.ly/KaHm4P
Sublime Text for Mac (free trial) – http://bit.ly/1jbo6D6
A web browser – To view our code (hint: you’re using one to see this code too!)
The slides: 
View externally: http://bit.ly/1os8agM