Interesting Links December 7 2009

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

Interesting Links December 7 2009

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A lot of links last week that anticipate Computer Science Education week came my way. Well you’d expect that and I have a number of them to share. But that’s not all. A little about Silverlight, a little about programming languages, and a little about other things. First though the CSEdWeek links.

Besides Congress there have been other announcements from government and other officials about Computer Science Education Week.

Plus some college.university announcements and web sites.

Now for some additional (beyond what I linked to last week) resource links with ideas on how to celebrate.

Leigh Ann Sudol sent the following announcement to the APCS mailing list.

Another cool thing is the emergence of Keepon and BeatBots as an internet phenomenon. Keepon is a little squishy robot that was designed to dance to a beat - its breakout video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPdP1jBfxzo&feature=fvw and an article about how its being used to help autistic children here: http://beatbots.net/2009/04/10/popular-science-robots-to-fight-autism/

How do you feel about free software? Did you know you can download the beta of the next version of Office, Office 2010. http://www.microsoft.com/office2010 So far it has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times.

Interested in Silverlight and games? Coding 4 Fun has a great post on creating a pinball game in Silverlight using the Physics Helper Library + Farseer Physics

Peter Vogel (@PeterVogel) pointed me to an article called Top 10 Programming Languages Used at Microsoft. It’s an interesting list but believe it or not Java isn’t on it. :-)

Interested in getting kids thinking about inventions? Or about how to go from idea to product and company?  From the TCEA Twitter feed (@tcea) comes a link to a fabulous Inventor's Handbook for students from the Lemelson-MIT program.

  • Somehow I'm not surprised at all that Java didn't make the list of languages which is "not a ranking of the languages most used by the software giant, but represents a listing of the programming languages that Microsoft uses, promotes and keeps track of for its ongoing business."

  • That was a (perhaps poor) attempt at humor on my part. Although Microsoft does pay a lot of attention to Java and interoperability with Java it don't get much use in-house.

  • Ah, I see. I figured you wouldn't be joking about how Microsoft got sued for introducing Windows-specific APIs into their JVM with the documented intention to "kill cross-platform Java".

    Past aside, I feel great about free software! There are some people who think that the term "free software" should mean free like "free speech" not free like "free beer". (And, I should add, not free like "free on bittorrent".)

    I personally just think it's important not to confuse the various senses of the word, and to teach students about the difference between someone giving away copies of proprietary software versus open source where the code itself is actually freely available.

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