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

December, 2006

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 Now Available


    I see in the XNA blog that the version 1.0 version of XNA Game Studio Express has now been released. This means that people can now start buying subscriptions to the XNA Creators Club from the Xbox Live Marketplace on their Xbox 360 console if they have an active silver or gold Xbox Live subscription. I have to wait until Christmas because I bought an Xbox 360 for my wife and I don't want to give it to her early. No, really, it is for her. I am hoping she'll let me play with it though. I mean I am hoping that she will let me get some development work done with it. Yeah, development work.

    In any case if you were waiting for the release to start trying this our and seeing how it might fit into a programming course now is the time. With Christmas break coming up soon I expect that a lot of people will a) be getting Xbox 360s and b) having some time to look into what can be done with them. If you have students who think they want to be game developers and that they have the chops to cut it in that competitive world the XNA GSE gives them a chance to prove it. Send them to Coding 4 Fun where there is a tutorial to get them going on their first game -Tiny Tennis.


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  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    A Wiki for AP Computer Science Teachers


    (a very energetic high school computer science and math teacher) has opened up a wiki for Advanced Placement Computer Science discussion, links, materials and other cooperative work. The site just opened and I doubt many AP CS teachers know about it yet but I think it has great potential. The hope is that teachers can share projects, exercises, discuss textbooks and other topics of interest and generally create a lasting and growing body of shared knowledge for teachers to use. Sounds great to me.

    I've become a huge fan of wiki's lately. As a tool for collaboration and sharing of infomation they're pretty cool and very powerful. An other wiki that I am a little involved with (in other words I read and have made a few minor edits)  is the one for EduBloggerCon 2007 - a gathering of educational bloggers at NECC this coming spring. The wiki also lists some other upcoming educational technology where education bloggers are hoping to connect. I hope to be at some of these events myself. Hopefully I will be at TCEA, NECC and maybe FETC this winter.

    In any case if you are an AP CS teacher jump in and contribute to this new AP CS wiki. Sharing with other teachers is among the best ways teachers help each other.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    How did you celebrate Computer Science Education Day?


    Well last Friday was the first annual Computer Science Education Day. I've heard from a few teachers who had celebrations. I visited Milford High School on Friday and talked to a class of students about computer science as a way to change the world and as a field that people should know something about no matter what field they went into. The school also had an essay contest and several other quest speakers. It seemed like a good day while I was there. Posters on the event were everywhere in the school so hopefully this helped the computer science program there get some more attention.

    Brian Scarbeau had a good day at his school. He also had several guest speakers, a contest and other activities including a special edition show on the schools CCTV station. The city of Orlando also proclaimed it officially as Computer Science Education Day.

    Anyone else have activities to report? I'd love to see this become a big day in schools around the world.

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