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

May, 2006

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Computer Science 4 High Schools


    It seems like everyone I talk to lately is going to CS4HS this summer. OK not everyone but a good number of high school computer science teachers are planning on traveling to Carnegie Mellon University for one or more workshops. For many of them the workshop they are looking forward to is called CS 4 HS - subtitles Explorations in Computer Science for AP CS Teachers. This workshop is about computer science and not computer programming. I think this is a pretty worthy undertaking. Students need some exposure to the interesting and exciting things in computer science that are more than just figuring out where the mising semi-colon belongs.

    This three day workshop will teach teachers how to: (Note: I copied this list from the workshop web site:

  • Explore real-world examples of computation in action with the help of Google.
  • Learn how to get the interest of your students with food and teach them something about computer science while you're at it.
  • See how ideas from computer science have helped to revolutionize the biological sciences.
  • Bring a robot to class.
  • See new tools for teaching students the principles of program development and computational thinking.
  • Hear from experts in the field about how you can help broaden participation in computer science at your high school.
  • The web site talks about AP Computer Science but I talked to Tom Cortina, the director, this afternoon and he tells me that teachers who are teaching computer science but not AP CS will find a lot of value in the workshop. So don't think that because you are teaching a pre-AP course or that your school's curriculum doesn't include AP CS that you don't belong at this workshop. Based on who is involved and what I have heard so far I'd have to say this workshop looks like time well spent. And it isn't going to break the bank on in-service training money either!


  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    What the Tech?


    What the Tech is a blog at that provides "Simple explanations of the latest tech innovations, jargon, devices, practices and more." So far there have been explanations of things like, Digg, Wikipedia, RSS Readers and podcasts. Your students may be up on all of this (or maybe not) but you and the parents of your students may not be. What the Tech looks like it will grow to be a pretty useful source of information to keep up with what is happening in technology. I highly recommend it.

    By the way, the Education at On10 blog is not bad either. Especially when one of the other members of the group (yes I occasionally post there) posts something interesting.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    $40,000 for writing an MSN Messenger Bot


    I blogged about a third party SDK for creating MSN Messenger bots some time ago. Now though Microsoft is challenging people directly to create bots for MSN® Messenger and Windows Live™ Messenger. The most original, useful robots collect $40,000 in total prizes.

    There is a lot of information about this at the web link. Looks like fun.

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