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

January, 2008

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    How To Teach Your Child to Program


    Randy Guthrie is a member of my team out west who used to be a professor of Information Systems. He's a very knowledgeable guy and a very good teacher. Recently Randy's son asked him to teach him about programming. Well it's hard to turn down a request like that so Randy has started.

    He's started his son off with some web development and HTML work. That's a pretty common and popular way to begin. Randy is blogging about the experience in hopes that others can learn from his experience. I suspect that other parents who get the same request (or who wonder what they will do if/when it does come) will find Randy's blog particularly interesting and valuable.

    BTW if you are interested in other resources for teaching your or anyone's child how to program I have a list of beginner programming languages and other resources at a post I wrote in December. You may want to check it out.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    OneNote and Students, Networks and the Paperless School


    I had two notes from Mike Tholfsen last week. Now Mike is the OneNote Ninja - there is not much about OneNote he doesn't know. But Mike also has a passion for education and where OneNote and education mix (which they do very well) Mike is nothing short of The Man.

    Recently Mike sat down with the Amazing Max over at Channel 8 for a video interview. In the interview Mike takes about his vision of "OneNote Next-Gen Learning." He also shows some cool demos of the stellar features that are must-haves for students today. He also shows how OneNote collaboration works - very cool for students working on a team project. If you are interested in how a piece of software can really help organize students (or anyone else for that matter) take a look at this video interview.

    The other thing Mike sent me was a pointer to an article about a school in the UK that is saving a huge amount of money on paper. Yes paper! Anyone who works in a school knows that schools go through enormous amounts of paper. Everything from the daily announcements to tests and quizes to classroom handouts. It all adds up. The cost in paper, in ink/toner to say nothing of the cost in time and effort to move it around to the right people can be enormous.

    Well when high school, a two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride off the west coast of Scotland, decided to buy a computer for every student and staff member they looked at paper costs as a way of saving money. And did they ever find savings. By moving most of their paper usage to the network and sending it direct to PCs they cut their paper costs by an amazing 80%. You can read the full article here. [Note: Chris Dawson asked last week why his teachers will not stop printing. My guess is that you first have to take away their paper. :-) ]

    BTW the students in Scotland are using OneNote to organize their notes which contributs to the savings in paper. It also makes their notes both sharable and searchable. Not a bad thing at all.

    One last thing, Channel 8 the place for technology interested students has just opened up a set of discussion forums called "student union." Let the conversations begin!

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Getting Started With Silverlight


    The Silverlight 1.0 Fire Starter is a one-day event providing developers and designers information on the concept behind Silverlight as a technology, what tools are useful in development and the knowledge in order to start building their own applications. The eight sessions from that event are available to watch here and to be downloaded in video and audio formats. They look like a great start with this exciting new technology.

    BTW Clint Rutkas has been blogging about his experiments with Silverlight over at his blog.  At his code site (Peace Love Code) he has posted a project that mimics the Microsoft Surface Puzzle application with source code. Should be fun to check out.

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