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

February, 2009

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Microsoft Administrators in Higher Education Technical Conference

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    Something for the higher education people who follow my blog. Michael Greene from Microsoft’s higher education group has posted an announcement of this year’s annual conference for IT administrators from institutions of higher education. There is a lot of information on Michael’s blog and I don’t want to copy it all here. But a snippet to get you interested follows:

    Each year [Microsoft] hosts around 100 IT Pros from universities all around the country (and the world) in Redmond for a three day conference.  This is organized by a committee from the Windows HIED listsrv hosted by Stanford University and has a focus on NOT being a sales event, rather a chance for administrators in higher education to interface directly with product teams in Redmond and listen in on technical presentations regarding infrastructure focused solutions.

    Even if you are not a subscriber of the listsrv but you are a technical resource from a college or university, you are welcome to join us!  If you are curious about the technical focus, see the agenda posted to the HIED wiki.  You must be willing to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement form as some of the content is “next version” planning information.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    DreamSpark High School Now Open

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    Dreamspark is a program that Microsoft first announced last year for college and university students. Ever since then a Dreamspark program for high schools has been “coming.”  Well just before Christmas a beta version of the program and web site soft launched. Soft launch means it was there if you stumbled upon it or if you heard about it by work of mouth. The idea was to try the system out with small numbers to make sure things work before making a big announcement. Well it’s ready for real now and I wanted to be one of the first to talk about it. (Though Brian Scarbeau found out about it during the beta and blogged about it already.)

    Now privacy and the care of personally identifying information on minors is a huge concern for us all. Likewise we wanted to make sure that adults were able to see/read/understand/explain the EULA to students. So the way Dreamspark high school works is that a school administrator or teachers signs up for a school. There is a verification process and than the responsible adult at the school is given a set of keys or approval codes to hand out to students.  Students use that code to log in and get access to a whole lot of software for free!

    Developer tools, server operating systems, Robotics Studio and XNA Game Studio and more. Don’t miss the IT Academy Student Pass for free training either! And yes the college/university program is still there and still the same great program that thousands of students have already taken advantage of.

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  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    AP Java Workshop

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    So I have this soft spot in my heart for Carnegie Mellon University. I have been fortunate enough to  take workshops there several times during my teaching career. They’ve been outstanding and incredibly valuable both for the in-class learning and for the wonderful people (attendees as well as faculty trainers) I have met there. So since I know a lot of people out there are looking for Java workshops because they are teaching Advanced Placement Computer Science I wanted to post this announcement for those of you not on the APCS mailing list.

    Carnegie Mellon will host a summer workshop for AP Computer Science high school teachers July 27 - August 2 (plan on arriving on Monday, July 27). The workshop is intended for all teachers who who may be teaching the Advanced Placement Computer Science course. This week is appropriate for teachers of all experience levels. Through lecture, demonstrations, and lab assignments, participants will work with experienced Computer Science instructors developing an understanding of these topics, and teaching methods for presentation in their own classroom setting.

    There will also be an extensive exploration of the Advanced Placement Computer Science Case Study, "GridWorld", as well as interesting computer science excursions in topics appropriate for both pre-AP and post-AP Computer Science courses.

    For more details including costs and housing information, visit the following web site, starting February 23, 2009.

    http://www.intro.cs.cmu.edu/ap/

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