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

January, 2008

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Technology Questions for a Teacher Interview


    Jeff Utecht is a really cool teacher with a very interesting blog. Jeff is a K-12 Technology Specialist at Shanghai American School in Shanghai, China. I've actually met him briefly at NECC and he's a great guy. He's also very much on top of educational technology. So when he posted a list of technology related questions for teacher interviews its not surprising that it is a great set of questions.

    In this post Jeff lists a number of questions that a school that  "schools who have decided to make 21st Century Learning a priority" should be asking. Personally I believe that principals and school districts should be raising their sights on technology competence for teachers, especially younger teachers. We wouldn't accept ignorance of basic writing and math skills in a teacher. Nor would we accept that they didn't know how to use basic research and teaching tools. Today those basic research and teaching tools are increasingly computer and technology related. Can we really have technophobes doing a great job teaching today's multi-media and online generation? Not easily.

    Check out Jeff's questions. Are they the right ones? What would you add or subtract and why? Do you even care about how much teachers know about usign technology? I'd love the hear thoughts from others.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Bring Your Kids to SIGCSE?


    SIGCSE is probably my favorite conference of the year. It brings together faculty from around the country and the world who are really committed to computer science education. But for many people traveling and leaving their children behind is a problem. Generally there are no options for people who want to attend a conference but to leave their children at home. In these days of single parent families and families where both parents work that can be a serious problem.

    This year the SIGCSE planning committee is trying to solve that problem. They have

    "have contracted with Kiddie Corp, a professional child care provider to provide onsite childcare at the convention center during the conference. Your kids would be in a room nearby to where you are attending the conference. BUT, this is no ordinary childcare - there will be a variety of fun CS activities daily for the kids to participate in!"

    You can get more information at the web site. I know they are looking for people to sign up soon so they know they have a critical mass to run this program. To me it looks great. Can you imagine your kids reporting that they went to a "kid's computer conference" to all their friends? Wouldn't that be something!

    BTW I am planning on attending SIGCSE again this year. Hope to see many of you there as well.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Friday Interesting Links


    I found a couple of short things I felt I should link to today.

    Martin Schray pointed me at an interesting post at the Visual Basic blog that I really should have linked to earlier.

    Amanda Silver wrote up about some "hidden gems" in Visual Basic 2008. The bit on Object Initializers should make creating arrays easier for a lot of small arrays. And the IDE feature to go to where a variable was defined may make some debugging a lot easier. I know it is a feature I could have used a few times.

    Speaking of Martin, he's written a cool little application called Reinforce It that uses a combination of IronPython and C# code. The application is an automated reminder system. I really think I need to start using it myself.

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