Last week, I sent an email to my students about making good use of their summer.  I suggested that they read a book that Bill Gates had recommended in Time magazine, Business Adventures by John Brooks.  I was clearly trying to serve in a mentoring capacity by recommending an activity that was never going to be on the students' test.  I hope some of them take me up on the assignment.

I liked that idea so I posted a short discussion of it on this blog (May 28, 2017).   We seem to have difficulty in getting everything covered in a four-year education.  We need to find ways to increase what a student can learn during the college experience.  Making good use of summer is one place to start.

My friend Bob Jensen (retired teaching legend from Trinity University) sent me a note about his own version of this summer assignment.   In all honesty, I liked his idea better than I liked my idea.   We live in a time when things evolve so rapidly that our students need to be ready for a changing world.   Bob's suggestion recognizes that challenge and how to address it.

I passed it along to my students as a follow up email.   I really hope some of them will take me on this idea also.   It really could make a difference in their lives.  Here is how I introduced his suggestion to my students.

To:   Accounting 302 Students

From:   JH

Last week, I sent out an email suggesting that you follow the advice of Bill Gates and read Business Adventures by John Brooks over the summer.  I am a big believer that the main problem that college students suffer from is procrastination so I hope you didn’t put that suggestion in the “think about it later” file.  Do it or don’t do it but don’t defer it to death.

As some of you might know, I have long maintained a teaching blog where I discuss how I teach my classes.  So, I posted a discussion of that particular book recommendation.  The posting has already been read by several hundred followers. 

A friend of mine named Bob Jensen responded with what I thought was a fabulous idea.   Dr. Jensen is retired from Trinity University and is a genuine legend in education.  I always pay attention to what he has to say but I thought this was an especially good idea.   I’m going to pass it along directly to you.   I have not tried any of the links he lists but I am sure Google can get you there if need be.  I just thought this was a genius idea for how to spend some of your free hours over the summer.  Talk about making yourself more marketable.  

​From Bob Jensen
“That is a good post. However, my number one recommendation would be for students to take advantage of summer months to learn how to code.  Coding is not something we stress in accounting curricula, but I read recently that ‘if you know how to code you will never be unemployed.’  That is generally true even if you must work at home.

“Coding is becoming a skill increasingly important in virtually all disciplines, even accounting.

“Here are some of the free services for learning how to code (just a sampling of the many alternatives)

Free Code Camp ---

Bob Jensen's World Library Links at
Khan Academy Computer Programming ---

DevArt: Art made with code ---

Learn How to Code for Free: A DIY Guide for Learning HTML, Python, Javascript & More  ---

Python Programming Language ---

Learn Python Programming Language with a Free Online Course from MIT ---

Free eBooks on Computer Programming from O’Reilly Media ---

CS For All: Introduction to Computer Science and Python Programming ---

“I used to teach Fortran (loved it) and Cobol (hated it) but times have changed and left me in my retirement dust.  Recommend that virtually all young folks learn how to code in the newer coding ‘languages.’"

Post a Comment