Fork Your Syllabus, You Slacker!
Have you ever wanted to share materials from your classes with other faculty, but found that your courseware made that nearly impossible? Or wanted a way to easily share your updates and modifications to someone else’s materials? Do you struggle to get students to respond to email? Do you wish you had better options for engaging with students working in groups without being overbearing?
In this session, I'll show you how you can use GitHub to make your course materials easily accessible, updatable, and shareable—even if they have nothing to do with programming! You’ll learn the basics of how GitHub works, and how to take advantage of their free classroom and student accounts to create private as well as public repositories of content. I’ll also show you how you can use the free version of Slack to create classroom conversation spaces that support class-wide announcements, group conversations for project work, private messaging with students, and easy file sharing.
Outline of Topics
We'll start with some basic definitions. What are GitHub and Slack, exactly? What are they used for, and by whom? If you don't already have a GitHub account, you'll create one, and I'll have you join the Slack workspace I've created for this workshop.
You're currently using the GitHub repo that I set up for this workshop. I'll take you on a quick tour of this one, and of one I use in a non-code-focused freshman class, and explain why I've chosen to use GitHub rather than our university's LMS or my own website to distribute course materials.
Before I show you how to create your own content on GitHub, we'll talk about why I use Slack for individual and group communication in my classes. You'll join a Slack workspace I've set up for this workshop, which you can then use to post questions and comments as we get into the more technical details of the two systems.
I'll show you how to copy and modify an existing repo, and how to create a completely new repo in your personal GitHub account. I'll also talk about the educational discounts available for both students and teachers.
If there's time, I'll also walk you through the process of creating and customizing a new Slack workspace for use in your classroom.
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