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

November, 2006

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    We need some awards for subject matter bloggers

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    I wrote most of this post for my general education blog at On10 but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I needed to present it to a larger audience. So here it goes.

    I was reading the announcement for the Educational Blogger awards here. As I thought about the process and the categories they list I began to wish they had subject matter categories other than library. I realize that there are a lot of blogging librarians but what about history, math, English, and my favorite - computer science? And special education! Are there people writing good stuff for special education parents and teachers? These are the categories I would use but I am open to suggestions:

    • English/Language Arts/Reading
    • Mathematics
    • Sciences (maybe one day there will be a break down here - should it be broken down to  Physical and Social at least)
    • Social Studies
    • Special Needs/Special Education
    • Computer Science (just because I think there are more CS specific blogs right now and we need to keep things open for the other sciences to grow)
    • Other - Arts, Music, PE, Etc. - Are there enough blogs in these areas to break it down? Who knows?

    Wouldn't it be great to have some lists of the best blogs that focus on specific subject matter? I think it would be good if only to help support people who are sharing information in those specific subject areas. Maybe I need to start this one myself. 

    Honestly there are probably not enough people blogging in specific subject areas. Perhaps an award system will encourage those who are doing it and get others to think about blogging themselves. If nothing else at least the process might help build up some audiences.

    What do you think? Do you agree that we need awards for subject matter education bloggers? Who wants to help?

     

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  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Rob Miles on XNA Game Studio Express

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    Rob Miles is a lecturer at the University of Hull and one of my favorite educational bloggers. In this video Rob talks about XNA Game Studio Express and the reasons he is excited about using it in his teaching. It's a short little clip but gives a good overview of what XNA is about. I only wish I could have been at TechEd to hear his full presentation.

    I've been reading Rob's blogs for years but I think this is the first time I have seen a good picture of him. Hopefully we'll get to meet one of these days and now I will be able to recognize him when I see him coming.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Welcome Digg Readers

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    I don't know if any of you who found my blog from the Digg link of yesterday are sticking around to read more of my blog. I hope that some of you will find some interesting things here. While I post mostly thinking about things that are interesting and helpful to people teaching high school computer science or perhaps students in that range (plus or minus a couple of years) I am always happy to have other readers here.

    For those of you regular readers who don't follow the comments and who are wondering what I am talking about - yesterday and into today the Digg web site sent me about 46,000 hits. Over 120 people left comments as well. It made for an interesting day to day the least. That is about half the total traffic I get in an average month and 10 times as many comments as any other post I have written here. When one is expecting to see a read count number of around 400 and it is suddenly 20,000 and keeps climbing all day its something else for sure.

    Some of the comments were really great and had encouraging words for a young student who is trying to do some interesting things and having what appears to be a good learning experience. Some of the comments were pretty harsh though and that is regrettable. I don't mind to ones directed at me that much. I've been around enough to develop a tough skin and working at Microsoft these last few years has taught me that some people are just going to be nasty to me because of where I work. But a 12-year old doesn't deserve that and shouldn't have to be subjected to it. I apologize to him for exposing him to that sort of treatment.

    I learned things from the positive and the negative comments though. The positive ones showed me that there are a lot of people who are willing to encourage and support students who are trying to learn on their own and who want to show people their progress. That was great. What I learned about people who abbreviate Microsoft to "M$" I'll keep to myself though.

    Well tomorrow should be completely back to normal. I think I'm going to write about some New Hampshire colleges that are doing some interesting things with Game Development as part of Computer Science or Information Science programs. I've visited three such schools  recently and have been very impressed with what I have seen and heard. High school students who want to learn game development have a lot of options when they look for colleges these days.

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