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

September, 2007

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    High School Internships at Microsoft


    Microsoft brings in a large number of interns each summer. Almost all of them are undergraduate or graduate students at some university. I get asked about internships for high school students all the time but they are pretty rare. For the most part high school internships are only available to students who live in the Puget Sound area of Washington State near Microsoft's corporate headquarters.

    Still for those students who get one it is a pretty cool deal. Channel 8 recently posted an interview with one of the approximately 30 high school interns Microsoft brought on this past summer. Unlike a lot of internships for high school students this student worked on a real project that was a more than busy work. He is helping to document informal processes so that the group can survive the "hit by a bus" problem. Watch the interview to see what that is all about.

    Microsoft Research brings in a lot of graduate students to work on research projects - projects with high risks of failure but with high hopes of creating the next great thing. Channel 8 also posted an interview with one of these interns as well.

    For more information about Microsoft internships check out the Internships link in the student section of Microsoft's careers page.

    And check out Channel 8 regularly for videos and articles of interest to students.



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  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    School Of The Future Resource Kit Available


    A new resource kit has become available for people interested in Philadelphia's School of the Future. As you may know the School of the Future is a new public school that was designed from the ground up to use technology as a teaching tool (much more than an end in itself). The school was built with public funds and for the same amount of money that any typical school would be built in the district. Microsoft supplied consulting but no money because the goal was for this school to be able to be replicated across the country without external funding.

    The Resource kit is $19.99 (free shipping) and includes the following:

    * A 38 Minute 4021 Parkside Avenue documentary film by Byron Karabatsos

    * School of the Future Planning Resources including:

    • Vision Overview
    • Learning Space Matrix School Design Resource
    • Video Training: Process and People
    • Education Competency Wheel Professional
      Development Tools
    • Getting the Most out of a School Visit Template
    • Creating Effective Data Solutions Whitepaper
    • Creating 21st Century Schools Whitepaper

    I would think school district administrators, school board members and others involved in strategic planning for schools would be particularly interested in this package. Although the web site does have a set of lesson plans for use in teaching a number of concepts for several subjects (including math and ethics) that use the story in the movie as a case study.

    BTW more general lesson plans (nothing to do with the School of the Future) on a good variety of subjects may be found here.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Tablet PC Articles available


    This must be the week for Tablet PC news. The IEEE Computer Society magazine issue with a bunch of articles on Tablet PCs in education is available for free download (PDF file - 4.6 MB) for a limited time (thanks to a link from Jim Vanides at HP)

    Articles include:

    1. Magic Paper: Sketch-Understanding Research – how does one think about a surface that is natural and easy to draw on, yet understands what you draw?

    2. Ink, Improvisation, and Interactive Engagement: Learning with Tablets – thoughts on the integration of technology features and instructional models developed by educators.

    3. Handwriting Recognition: Tablet PC Text Input – how do you accomplish recognition over a wide range of writing styles and poorly formed cursive script? Use a time-delay neural network working with a lexicon.

    4. Classroom Presenter: Enhancing Interactive Education with Digital Ink – this system supports the sharing of digital ink on electronic slides to promote active learning and collaboration in the classroom.

    5. Facilitating Pedagogical Practices through a Large-Scale Tablet PC Deployment – tablet use by all students and faculty in and out of the classroom has shown positive initial results.

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