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

May, 2006

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Dealing with the Facebook and related software


    I found this really good post on the Facebook titled How University Administrators Should Approach the Facebook today thanks to a link from Liz Lawley.  I think that a lot of this applies to other sites like MySpaces as well. It clearly applies to high school students on Facebook. There are growing numbers of high school students on the Facebook BTW.

    I think that it is imperative that high school administrators and parents of high school students start to understand this whole social computing phenomenon. We have seen far too many cases of administrators over reacting to things they would never have known about if a student hadn’t broadcast something to the entire world over the Internet.

    Now I am not saying that students who drink or use drugs or do other illegal, immoral or otherwise irresponsible things should not face consequences for their actions. But I think that if we rush too soon to punishment we may miss opportunities for taking advantage of teachable moments.

    Students are saying too much on the Internet. They need to understand why they need to be more careful. But only adults who understand the software students are using are going to have the credibility required to make a case for correct behavior. Students often think they know more than the adults in their lives. Generally they are wrong and the sudden discovery that they are wrong sometimes reinforces the believability of what the adult says. On the other hand when a child finds out for sure that the adult really doesn’t understand a major part of the topic under discussion they child may often discount the truth in the rest of the discussion.

    Teachers, administrators and parents do not have to become complete experts by any means. But if the first time they hear of MySpaces or the Facebook is when the excrement has hit to fan they start off way behind in the discussion. Ignorance is not bliss and what you don’t know can hurt you. Adults should start to talk to children about what they are doing on the Internet at an early age. They should talk about protecting their identity and privacy. They should talk about protecting their reputation. Students want to use social computing software to create a reputation. What they need to understand is that the reputation they create now may just stay with them the rest of their lives. That may give them some pause to think. Well, we can hope so.


    Crossposted from my Social Computing blog.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Looking for Code Examples in Visual Basic or C# with Visual Studio 2005


    Thanks to Dan Fernandez for the link. There is a new and updated set of 101 code samples for Visual Studio .NET now available. There are samples for networking, data access, web development, Windows Forms, Tablet PC applications, Office applications and much more.

    This may be a great place to send students to for help with semester projects where they are trying to go beyond what they learned in class.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    .NET Workshops at Lake Forest College


    Joe Hummel is offering a pair of .NET workshops for faculty at Lake Forest College this summer. There is a 2.5 day intro level workshop and a 2.5 day advanced level workshop. The registration fee for each track is $99.00.  Attendees are also responsible for the cost of getting to and from Lake Forest College (40 miles due North of Chicago).  All other costs (room, board, instruction) are covered through generous support from Microsoft Corporation. The main language of his examples will be C# but he will also demonstrate using Visual Basic .NET. So VB instructors will not be left out and they'll also get a chance to become familiar with C# which is rapidly gaining users in industry and academia both.

    I've heard Joe train a number of times and I have used matterials he has developed to provide training myself and can attest to the high quality of his training. If you are looking for a workshop to help you come up to speed on the latest .NET training you will want to look into these workshops.

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