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

March, 2010

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Interesting Links 8 March 2010


    Well last week was another interesting week for me. I finished it off with a short trip to Houston TX for the annual HP Code Wars high school programming competition. The people at HP did an amazing job hosting some 600 student competitors on a Saturday morning.  You have to hand it to the teachers and other chaperones who got the students there. Some of them drove van loads of kids to Houston from all over Texas the day before. It was a great time though and I am glad I had the chance to be there and too talk to so many great teachers. During the course of the week I collected and twittered a good number of interesting links as well. Here now is my pick of the litter.

    A little self advertising, at TCEA Key Royal (@KenRoyal) and I recorded a discussion we had about technology in education. You can watch it at Scholastic Administrator.

    Several people twittered of emailed me a link to this Windows 7 phone demo that shows cross platform game development using XNA. Some really impressive stuff getting more so all the time. Maybe this is your first look at games on the Windows Phone System 7?

    Speaking of XNA and games, Rob Miles (@robmiles) blogged about an XNA demo he did recently at St Bede’s College. He’s got a bunch of sample code and everything! Related to that the US Imagine Cup twitter account (@imaginecupus) sent out a link to some great tutorials for getting started with XNA game development -

    The Princeton Review posted their list of the Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs in the US It’s an interesting list has is potentially useful. But not including The Guildhall at SMU and Rochester Institute of Technology means that it is a seriously flawed list in my book.

    Erik Meijer in one of my favorite technical people at Microsoft. If you ever get a chance to hear him talk you should really take advantage of it. He is the subject of a new the Code interview on Channel 9 titled  Rebel with a Cause - Democratizing the Machine.

    Last week was National Grammar Day @Microsoft_EDU sent out a link to some tips for customizing your grammar and spelling settings in Microsoft Office Plus there were some links from Rob Bayuk (@TeachTec), the U.S. K-20 Educator Marketing Manager at Microsoft this week as well.

    That’s it for today. Follow me @AlfredTwo on Twitter if you’d like links from this live during the week. Thanks!

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    10 things likely to be overheard from a Klingon Programmer


    I have no idea where this came from originally but it showed up on the AP CS mailing list this week. On one level it is very funny especially if you know the Star Trek universe and the nature of Klingons. But on a deeper level I think it is an opening for discussion. Why are these things funny? Is it because they are a ridiculous way to do software development? Yep, let’s talk about it.

    1. Specifications are for the weak and timid!
    2. You question the worthiness of my code? I should kill you where you stand!
    3. Indentation?! - I will show you how to indent when I indent your skull!
    4. What is this talk of 'release'? Klingons do not make software 'releases'. Our software 'escapes' leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake.
    5. Klingon function calls do not have 'parameters' - they have 'arguments' - and they ALWAYS WIN THEM.
    6. Debugging? Klingons do not debug. Our software does not coddle the weak.
    7. A TRUE Klingon Warrior does not comment on his code!
    8. Klingon software does NOT have BUGS. It has FEATURES, and those features are too sophisticated for a Romulan pig like you to understand.
    9. You cannot truly appreciate Dilbert unless you've read it in the original Klingon.
    10. Our users will know fear and cower before our software! Ship it! Ship it and let them flee like the dogs they are!

    BTW if you do an Internet search for “Klingon programmer” you can find a lot more like this.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Upcoming Microsoft Teacher Leader Training Events


    Are you an educator responsible for providing technology training to colleagues? Do you frequently lead teachers with best practices on how to integrate technology in the classroom? Then this event is for you!

    The Microsoft Institute now offers workshops dedicated for teachers and teacher leaders. The project-based workshop curriculum is designed for educators who are charged—either formally or informally—with leading technology professional development for classroom teachers.

    The Teacher Leader Program was created for teacher trainers, curriculum integration specialists, master teachers, technology coaches and coordinators, department heads, and others. A workshop is now scheduled for your area.

    What You’ll Receive:

    • Free, hands-on training on project-based, student-centered activities for K-12 classrooms
    • Microsoft Teacher Leader certificate
    • Free access to professional development curriculum for your use in your school
    • Support from the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network community
    • Eligibility for clock or credits hours (*will vary by state)
    • A “21st Century Classroom Pack for Students” upon completion of teacher training at your school*

    Workshop locations and registration

    Cambridge, Massachusetts March 16, 2010

    New York, New York March 18, 2010

    Phoenix, AZ March 31, 2010

    Reston, VA April 7, 2010

    Denver, CO April 20, 2010

    Chicago, IL April 22, 2010

    What to Bring

    Workshops are held at Microsoft offices. Attendees must bring their own laptop computer with Microsoft Office 2007 installed. Download a free trial or ask your IT Administrator.

    *Continue the training

    We’ve designed these workshops for education professionals who teach or train other professionals. As such, we hope that after the workshop, attendees will:

    • Attend a follow-up conference call with the workshop facilitator and other attendees.
    • Deliver at least one teacher professional development activity to your school or district based on this workshop.
    • Contribute a teacher professional development best practice to the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network community.

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