Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

February, 2006

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Field Trip!


    The Microsoft Campus Connection Tour might just make an interesting field trip for some students. These events are taking place all over the country at various college campuses. There are presentations on Windows Vista and Office 12, tools for Information Technology professional and an introduction to developing interactive web applications using the latest verion of Visual Studio. And of course there are prizes being given away. 

    Check it out and see if there is an event near you.

    Update: Brian Scarbeau who teaches high school computer science at a high school in Florida attended a recent Microsoft Campus Connection event at the University of Central Florida and gives a review at his blog.


  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Project Hoshimi Webcasts Available


    I recorded my second webcast on Project Hoshimi the other day. So now there are two availble for playback. They are both available from the MainFunction Training Center.
    When you register for the webcasts they will be added to the list of "My Webcasts" and you can view them at your convenience.

    If you have students who may be interested in the Hoshimi Challenge you may want to sign up for the webcasts so they can view them as well. While the webcasts were designed for teachers I think they are pretty useful for students who want to get an overview of what the event is about (the first webcast) or who need a little help getting started planning strategy (the second webcast) for their own efforts.

    Pat Phillips attended both of these webcasts live and has some nice things to say about them at her blog. Her blog also has a reminder about the community center forums at MainFunction where you can ask for help with the project.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    CE, CS, IS, IT, SE - Making Sense of Computing Majors


    One of the questions I remember dealing with a lot when I was teaching high school seniors was "what should I major in in college?" The array of computer related majors has grown a lot since I was in university. There is Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Systems, Information Technology and Software Engineering just to name the most common. This can be very confusing to the high school student and even to her teachers or guidance counselors. I have no idea how parents of college bound students even begin to think about this question unless they are already in the field themselves.

    But there is help out there. The ACM has a document called Computing Curricula 2004 that includes "A Guide to Undergraduate Degree Programs in Computing." Students and people helping students will be interested the detailed descriptions of the various degree programs. Particularly useful is how the document compares the weight of different computing and non-computing topics across the various types of degrees. All in all there is a lot of great information that can help decide what degree program meets the needs and interests of different students.

    I almost think that this guide should be required reading for high school guidance counselors who are helping students pick university programs in computing. Students who are thinking about what computing area they want to study will of course find it very valuable. And it's free!

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