2G: Using GitHub in the Classroom: A VERZUZ Battle

With Christopher Kinson & David Dalpiaz (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Git and GitHub bring tremendous opportunities for expanding collaboration, implementing modern computing tools, and managing courses as its own learning management system. Unfortunately, these opportunities come with costs including: steep learning curves for beginners, distractions from the traditional aspects of a statistics curriculum, and competition from more straightforward and well-established learning management systems. Two colleagues argue their position on using Git and GitHub in the classroom - one for and one against – adopting the now popular Verzuz format. Verzuz is a web series and platform, created by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, for showcasing artists and their musical catalogs in a battle format. This breakout session intends to (1) show Git/GitHub’s usefulness as a version control system and learning management system, (2) argue several points for and against using Git/GitHub for educators, (3) highlight songs that reinforce these points. We would like participants to be better informed about using Git and GitHub in the classroom, both the risks and rewards. We briefly introduce Git and GitHub, but we assume the audience has some familiarity, but that familiarity can be wide ranging. We will use web browsers to access GitHub, but participants do not need access to GitHub to follow along. We hope our session will help newcomers make informed decisions when considering these technologies in their classrooms and help veteran users to better critique their current usage.