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

September, 2008

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Microsoft Campus Tour Video

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    I’ve been taking a short blogging break this week. Frankly I’m just flat out with other work lately. Yesterday was meetings and preparation for a talk I gave today at Nashua Community College. I had a great time there because both before and after the talk I had a chance to talk to students in a casual environment. And well yes there was pizza too. One of the questions that often comes up when I talk to students, and a lot of adults as well, is what is it like to work at Microsoft? My work situation is a little less common than most but not as unusual as you might expect. Microsoft has a lot of people who work remotely where remote means from their own homes.

    But most Microsoft people work in more traditional offices. These offices are literally all over the world and Microsoft has offices in a lot more places in the US than most people think. But the largest share of Microsoft employees work in the Seattle Washington area. Calling some of those buildings traditional may actually be a bit of a stretch though. Recently the Amazing Max (Agent 008) filmed a video tour of various buildings and campuses that Microsoft has in the Seattle area. Sure it is a recruiting sort of video but it really gives a view into what the Microsoft campus is like. I’ve been to most of the buildings Max tours and what he shows is how it is.

    Check it out. I found it interesting, entertaining and informative. If you want to know what office conditions are like at Microsoft look here.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    New Teaching Ideas and Resources Blog

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    It looks like a couple of members of the academic team in the UK have opened up a new blog for teachers. Kristen Weatherby and Stuart Ball are both former classroom teachers who now work with Microsoft’s UK Innovative Teachers Network which is part of the worldwide Innovative Teachers Network that is part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Program.

    One of Stuart’s first posts is all about the Innovative Teachers Network BTW.

    It looks like this blog is shaping up to be a good resource for teachers who are interested in both teaching ICT (information & computer technology) and in using ICT skills to teach other subjects. Do check it out.

    And welcome to the Education Blogosphere Kristen and Stuart!

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Why Isn’t Science Class Like This?

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    Well there is cost for one thing. And prep time for another. Oh wait, you don’t know what I’m talking about. Let me back up. Apparently at some sort of event the NVidia people wanted to show the difference between how a CPU works and a GPU (graphic processor) works. They also had an interest in entertaining people so obviously they hired the people from the TV show Mythbusters to create the demo. You can see the demo here. Now if you know the show at all you probably know that they are big fans of robots and of shooting things – all sorts of things with all sorts of shooting apparatus. Yep, there is some of that here.

    GO watch – it’s very cool. I’ll be here when you get back.

    These may be two of the loudest graphical output devices ever. I’m not sure if it is the best demo in the world about what a GPU is but it sure is a lesson in the difference between parallel and sequential processing. And I’ll bet you can get students to watch it and discuss what it all means very easily. Getting a conversation going about topics is often half the battle too.

    [Hat tip to Paolo Barone whose blog post led me to this video.]

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