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

August, 2010

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Interesting Links August 3 2010


    You may have noticed that I wasn’t blogging much last week. Or maybe you didn’t notice but allow me my allusions. I had a good reason though. My son was married this past weekend and that kept me a bit preoccupied. I hope to keep up better this week and then go on vacation. Smile Today I finally had a chance to sift through last weeks Twitter traffic and other links I found. So here now, a day late, are my interesting links from last week.

    From the TCEA twitter account (@tcea) Common Craft has another great video tutorial out, this time on passwords, called "Secure Passwords in Plain English." This may be a good video to show your students to help them understand how to create good passwords.

    There is a new edition of Rob Miles (@robmiles) C# Yellow book text available. If you are looking for a good C# text book and FREE fits in your budget take a look at this one.

    Speaking of free ebooks – know students or recent graduates looking for career ideas? Check out Own Your Future: Update Your Skills with Resources and Career Ideas from Microsoft Free eBook.

    I love the attitude of this Computer Science 4 Fun / Women web site – “Too important to be left to men” Too true isn’t it? And of course I’m all about the fun in computer science.

    Charlie Kindel (@ckindel) shared information about a new set of Windows Phone 7 Design Resources – UI Guide and Design Templates If you are looking to teach Windows Phone 7 development or even “just” user interface design these resources may be helpful to you.

    From @Microsoft_EDU and @ @tomshepp I found a link to a great set of Microsoft training resources for educators. This is not to be missed.

    From Mark Hindsbo (@mhindsbo) I found a post that suggests you check out Code for America - a great cause. This looks very worthwhile.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Fixing the Computer Science Problem with an Act of Congress


    Bills get written and submitted to Congress without getting passed all the time but if nothing else the process often gets the discussion going. A recent bill to assess and help improve the state of K-12 Computer Science Education has recently been introduced and conversation has started.

    From Education Week:

    Bill to Combat Comp. Science Crisis Introduced
    Education Week (07/30/10) Quillen, Ian
    U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has introduced the Computer Science Education Act, legislation that would assess K-12 computer science education in the United States, create a commission to review the field's national landscape, and establish field-specific programs at teacher-preparation institutions. ACM says the changes implemented as a result of the bill would help address "uneven or nonexistent" standards in K-12 computer science, a lack of professional development and clear path to certification for teachers, and a decline in courses for students. "Computer science is driving an economic and cultural revolution across the globe at the same time that it is fading from the K-12 landscape in the U.S.," says ACM CEO John White. "We simply are not doing enough to help students get exposure to engaging and rigorous computer science." ACM has endorsed the legislation, as has Microsoft, Google, Intel, SAS, and the Computer Science Teachers Association.

    Can this bill, if passed, fix things? Not by itself but I think it is a good start. We have to do something and fixing CS bottom up is clearly not working. Why? I think it is because getting administrators and school boards to see anything as important is very difficult unless they see the potential for outside money coming into the system. This bill might just do that. I still see it as a sort of bootstrap process but you have to start pulling somewhere.

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