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

February, 2009

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Microsoft is looking for people who have taught introductory programming

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    I found a blog post by the Microsoft Learning team titled Have you taught introductory developer courses-—We want you! I’ve included some of the post below. Visit the post itself for contact information if you are interested.

    Have you taught introductory developer courses in a high school, college, or other learning environment? Microsoft Learning is creating a new exam program targeted at measuring a beginner’s knowledge and skills in a broad technology area. We’re looking for volunteers to help us with the development of exams for this new exam program.

    We expect the first wave of these exams to cover the following content domains: basic programming, beginning Windows development, beginning Web development, and introductory database administration. While minimal hands-on experience with the technologies will be recommended, job experience is neither assumed nor recommended for these exams. Most of the questions will test the candidate's understanding of basic concepts rather than the candidate's ability to successfully complete a task.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    February 2009 Free eBooks from Microsoft Learning

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    Over at the Microsoft Learning community blog I found a post with this month's Microsoft Press 25th Anniversary "Free e-Book of the Month" offer. It's available for a limited time only so grab them now!

    Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition: Build a Program Now! by Patrice Pelland  

    Make building new programming skills fun and fast with a quick-start, project-based approach.

    Download this e-book

    *******

    Windows Vista Resource Kit, Second Edition, by Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, and Jerry Honeycutt with the Windows Vista Team

    Your definitive resource for deployment and operations—straight from the experts

    Download this e-book

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Same and Different

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    I learn a lot from blogs. For example this morning I read a post at the CSTA blog by Myra Deister who shares a great idea under the heading An Effective ELL Strategy for Computer Science Classes. For me one of the challenges in teaching, especially computer science, is to get students discussing things in ways where they discover things for themselves. Really they seem to retain things better that way than if I just try to spoon feed them information.

    Myra had the great idea to borrow a technique from a workshop on English Language Learning and adapt it to her computer science class. She created two methods that were a little different in the way they passed information – one used parameters and the other used a return code – and had her students discuss what was different and what was the same about them. The students themselves found this a useful learning tool.

    I think we, all people, sometimes attend things labeled as learning opportunities and thing the ideas presented are for “other people.” But I think the smart people, certainly the best teachers, look beyond the obvious or the narrow focus and try to find ways to apply techniques to new or different circumstances. That’s one of the reasons I follow teacher blogs by people who are not computer science focused. It would have been easy for Myra to assume that the workshop she attended was just for the new teachers she mentors and even easier to assume that the techniques would only work for ELL students/classes. But being able to see ways to use things and being willing to try new things is what makes the difference between a teacher with x years of experience and a teacher with one year of experience x times. Same and Different.

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