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

August, 2006

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Online Teacher Communities


    Where do teachers go online to find and share resources, ask questions and generally get in touch with their peers? I’ve been most familiar with MainFunction, an online community for computer science teachers, that I have been active in for years. But I am starting to find out that there are a lot more communities out there that are more general in nature.

    For example I received an email last week telling me about a fairly new site called Teach Ade that is for pretty much all subjects and all grade levels. There is an interesting looking community growing in the United Kingdom at that I found out about recently as well. I’m sure there are more out there.

    Are you involved in an online teacher’s community? I’m looking to collect pointers to good communities and also to find out what people like in the communities they are a part of. If you have some suggestions about what makes the ideal online teachers community or what these communities should contain I would love to hear/read about it. To be clear I am interested in communities around a specific subject area or grade level (like high school computer science) or communities that cover a range of subjects and grade levels. In fact if you have preferences on one type or another I’d like to hear about that as well.

    So please leave a comment or drop me a note though the contact link. Thanks!

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Where are the Blue Angels of Software Development?


    From Josh Ledgard’s blog comes the question of the day. Is this a question we need to find the answer to in order to rebuild the CS pipeline? I think perhaps it is one of them.

    Where are the Blue Angels of Software Development?

    "Well, that one is pretty simple, self.  The Blue Angels’ mission statement spells it out:  “The mission of the Blue Angels is to enhance Navy recruiting, and credibly represent Navy and Marine Corps aviation to the United States and its Armed Forces to America and other countries as international ambassadors of good will.”

    Source: JobSyntax, Inc - Blogs

    The closest I can imagine today are the lego mindstorm kits. But what gets kids excited about software at a really young age? Is it just video game characters?

    BTW be sure to follow the JobSyntax link to get some additional context for Josh's question.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    An Olympics for Software Development


    The Imagine Cup is an international competition for college students. The international finals are going on now and I thought that some of you might be interested in reading about it. It’s nice to know that there are events that reward technical/educational achievement just as there are events that reward athletic achievements. For you reading pleasure here are some links to people at the competition which is taking place in India this week.

    Virginia Commonwealth University team blog – They are the US champions and have made it to the top 12.

    Jeff Sandquist – Jeff is with Microsoft, the competition sponsoring company, and is also the man behind Channel 9 and On 10

    Jan-Kristian Markiewicz – Jan is a member of the team from Norway which has also made it to the top 12.

    Rob Miles – Rob is the faculty mentor for the team from the UK and his blog includes a lot of pictures. And Rob is a great story teller as well so his blog is always interesting.

    Bernard Oh – Bernard is with the Microsoft academic relations team in Australia and is traveling with the team from that country.

    These are the kinds of stories that show that computer people are not just about being locked in a room writing code. In these blogs you will read about people seeing the sights, going shopping, using the pool, bowling and doing all sorts of interesting things. To say nothing of eating interesting food. And some of these teams are going to win some good prize money beyond the chance of a lifetime trip to India that they have already won.


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