Report on Python workshop at Little Flower College, Guruvayoor


I am back from Guruvayoor after conducting a 1 day Python workshop - this time for BSc Maths students instead of teachers. About 50 students (mostly girls) from various colleges participated. Priyadarshan will be doing the LaTeX workshop tomorrow.

As usual, there were problems with getting GNU/Linux installed on the lab PC's. Surprisingly, a big issue seems to be access to GNU/Linux CD's itself. People have "free" access to "pirated" versions of Windows while they have no idea from where they can get hold of GNU/Linux CD's/DVD's! The lab PC's in many colleges have no CD/DVD drives (virus fear). Then comes the fear of "damaging" Windows ...

Coming back to the workshop - it was hard to get any kind of verbal feedback from the students; so you have to judge purely based on "body language". I think this is what most of them felt - "well, this stuff is not very hard; it can even be a bit of fun ... but then what about marks and exams ...". Ultimately, everything gets reduced to a number on a scorecard. That's were our education system gets royally screwed up.

(I can imagine an examiner asking: Explain how you can plot a polar rose in Python - 5 marks. Dear students, please don't hold me responsible for future Pythonic horrors!).

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