Happy Labor Day! Well here in the US anyway. Technically a public/work holiday and I do plan to spend most of it relaxing. Unless my wife has other plans that is. I spent yesterday doing some early fall yard work for example. But it looks good so it was worth it. I have spent some time collecting some of the more interesting links and bits of information I saw over the last week though. You can follow me on Twitter (@AlfredTwo) and see a lot of this sort of  thing as I find it during the week. Also some conversation/chat with other interesting people about educational technology and other topics. Hope to see you on Twitter sometime.

Starting with a couple of community outreach pieces of news. One is that Microsoft has become a major sponsor of National Day of GiveCamp (on Twitter @GiveCamp) Give Camp is a weekend event where volunteer tech people from various companies get together to build tech solutions for non profits. Think of it as a computer age barn raising. Previous events have already helps a good number of organizations.

Also for nonprofits: Microsoft has launched its Elevate America grants program.

[…] the Elevate America community initiative, a new grant program that will support nonprofit organizations offering employment services, including technology skills training and job placement, in local communities across the United States. To support this initiative, we are committing $4 million in cash, $6 million in software and technology skills training curriculum over the next two years.

ITA Software is helping with a Massachusetts based Aspirations in Computing Award for high school women. See the MACAA Facebook page and follow @ncwitMACAA for more information.

Some interesting news on the Kodu front this week. The @koduteam announced that they have published an official Kodu language grammar. Very cool way to start understanding both what a language grammar looks like and what it specifically looks like for a graphical language like Kodu.

Kodu is also now available in German.  Kodu in deutscher Sprache 

Speaking of languages, there is now a Tutorial de Scratch en español / Scratch Tutorial (in Spanish). And apparently some are using Scratch to blend old and new by having students work with senior citizens.

Speaking of MIT, Scratch and that article above both relate to MIT, a bunch of people tweeted a link to the MIT Guide to Hacking

Sam Stokes writes about Adding shapes to your Windows Phone using some simple XAML and C# code.

See how a student aced his advanced programming course and got a game released for Xbox using XNA and Creators Club BCIT student creates Xbox game.

Most people use spreadsheets for real number, integers  but fractions? How to work with fractions in Excel.

From XRDS (@XRDS_ACM) – the ACM magazine for students a comparison between Punch cards v. Java.

Last week on Twitter @compsciwoman announced a new blog called CompSci Woman and a post titled a minor in CompSci makes you surprisingly employable! Now isn’t that the truth!

Have you heard about the new Clorox grant program? You can win n up to $50,000 for your favorite school. You can play daily. Called Power a Bright Future. Some school is going to win.

Last link for the day  Blue-sky thinking on Kinect and Xbox in education Some interesting thoughts from Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, at Microsoft.