Additional profile information on Alfred Thompson at Google+
The Live Geometry project is “A computer model of plane geometry that allows you to create interactive ruler and compass constructions and experiment with them.” Looks very cool to me. I can imagine lots of ways for teachers and students of geography to use this in constructive ways. This is the kind of tool that I think we need more people developing. Everyone learns more by doing and if we can make “doing” easier and more fun and keep it real and educational everyone benefits.
You can see an online preview at http://geometry.osenkov.com The author’s blog is at http://blogs.msdn.com/kirillosenkov and you can read his announcement here. Kirill’s pages have much better screenshots because he actually knows what he’s doing in geometry.
It’s no secret that one of the things I think is most valuable about teachers blogging is that they can share ideas for what works in the classroom. Good teachers are always either looking for or struggling to come up with projects that teach important concepts in interesting and engaging ways. Sometimes it is the little thing and sometimes the big things. Today I came up with two prime examples in my RSS reader.
Ben Chun takes on a simple but important concept in languages like Java and C# where strings are immutable and where the way we compare strings is not always obvious to students. The post is called Java’s == versus .equals() and it shows some code that can be used to discover how some compilers optimize constants and why you really need to use .equals rather than == to compare strings. Good stuff.
Leigh Ann Sudol takes on a couple of big thoughts in her post titled Why programming CAN be an Introduction to Computer Science. Step one is that she explains that in computer science we can and should take some lessons from other subjects about what a first course actually should be. In specific it should be more than programming and offer students a view into the wider areas of computer science. She follows up with a project she is using that uses loops and the familiar game of Blackjack to introduce machine learning and artificial intelligence. She has a link to a full description of the project as well as a sample coded solution. She promises that it will be in the CSTA curriculum repository soon as well.
Kudos to these fine teachers. I hope over time more and more teachers in many areas find the time to share likewise.
I got a lot of “T” words in that title. What I found this week was a whole calendar of videos and presentations created by the “Microsoft in Education” team that are aimed at teachers, Tech Coordinators, and others involved in using computer technology in schools. Some of the talks are under the “Teacher Tech Tuesday” banner and are aimed specifically for teachers. Some of the talks are yet to come and can be joined live when they are being presented. Others have already happened but can be viewed on demand. A few of the upcoming talks are listed below (borrowed from Mike Tholfsen‘s blog which is worth you checking out as well.)
Here is the schedule for upcoming Teacher Tech events
Live Oct 27 10:30AM-11:30AM Pacific Time Overview of Microsoft Expression Studio 2 Microsoft Expression Studio takes your creative possibilities to a new level. The... (learn more)
Live Oct 28 1:00PM-2:00PM Pacific Time Teacher Tech Tuesdays - Live Service Solutions for K12 (S+S) Create a collaborative academic community that extends beyond classroom walls. Enhance the... (learn more)
Live Nov 3 1:00PM-2:00PM Pacific Time 21st Century Leadership What are the key characteristics of an effective, technology-rich leadership development program... (learn more)
Live Nov 11 1:00PM-2:00PM Pacific Time Teacher Tech Tuesdays - Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 Toolkit for Teachers The perfect resource to help teachers get more organized. The toolkit is... (learn more)
Live Nov 18 1:00PM-2:00PM Pacific Time Teacher Tech Tuesdays - Building/Creating/Leveraging Communities — Blogging & Web 2.0 fundamentals Learn how to safely support & encourage new media in your organization... (learn more)
Live Dec 2 11:00AM-12:30PM Pacific Time Tech Talk Tuesdays: MSDNAA/IT Academy Microsoft presents the MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDN AA) Program. MSDN AA is... (learn more)
Live Dec 2 1:00PM-2:00PM Pacific Time Teacher Tech Tuesdays - Creating effective communications with OneNote & Outlook
Learn how Microsoft tools can help you stay in touch with students... (learn more)
Live Dec 9 11:00AM-12:30PM Pacific Time Tech Talk Tuesdays: Introduction to the 2007 Microsoft Office System The 2007 Microsoft Office System is a complete set of desktop and... (learn more)
Live Dec 9 1:00PM-2:00PM Pacific Time Teacher Tech Tuesdays - Everyone can be an astronaut with World Wide Telescope Take your class on a journey with the World Wide Telescope (WWT)... (learn more)
Live Dec 16 1:00PM-2:00PM Pacific Time Teacher Tech Tuesdays - Introduction to Photosynth Imagine being able to share the places and things you love using... (learn more)