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

November, 2010

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Imagine Cup Insider–Announcing IC Solve This


    Turn Your Ideas Into Action!

    Imagine a world where global Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGO’s), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and non-profits partner with brilliant and passionate student developers - like you - to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. We are launching a new program called Imagine Cup Solve This where you can to do just that!

    Through the Imagine Cup Solve This program, you can work on real-world problems submitted by IGOs, NGOs and non-profits as part of your Imagine Cup Competition or Challenge. This marketplace of real-world problems will grow over time as more IGOs, NGOs and non-profits get involved, but you can search through a library of Imagine Cup Solve This problems today on to find the issues that matter most to you. Then put your ideas into action as you create solutions that have potential to change the world in Core Competitions including: Software Design, Embedded Development, Game Design, Digital Media, Windows Phone 7 and the Challenges.

    Need an idea for your Imagine Cup entry? Looking to work on a project that may have real-world impact? Or maybe you’ve already started your Imagine Cup project and you want to see how it might impact a specific problem from an IGO, NGO or non-profit? Check out the Imagine Cup Solve This Library today.

    The Imagine Cup Solve This connects ideas to problems so everybody wins.

    Learning Center & Student Resources

    Need more resources to help you with your Imagine Cup project? Visit the Learning Center & Student Resources page for trainings, free ebooks, seminars, tools and more. New resources are added all of the time so check back often for the latest information. Recently added resources include:

    Windows 7 Touch Challenge launches on 30 November!

    The Window 7 Touch technology was developed to help people use their computer in a more natural, accessible, and interactive way. How can Touch allow people to better achieve what they want to accomplish? How can touch remove barriers to accessibility? How can YOU create a Touch experience that is so natural that users don’t even think about the implementation but focus only on the experience? Visit on 30 November to sign-up!

    Get Connected!

    • Join the Imagine Cup 2011 Facebook community.
    • Follow the Imagine Cup on Twitter.
    • Read up-to-date news on the Imagine Cup blog.
    • Watch the newest videos on the Imagine Cup YouTube channel.

    Check out the Imagine Cup photo gallery and video gallery.

    Yeah I cut and pasted this from the newsletter that goes to people who signed up. With permission though.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Student Access to the AppHub for Windows Phone 7


    One of the many benefits of the DreamSpark program, besides all of the free software, is access to the AppHub for submitting Windows Phone 7 applications for sale for free. Businesses and other individuals have to pay to join the App Hub and submit apps to the system. The process for getting started can be a little confusing though. In this post I will try to explain it in language a reasonable human being can understand. In other words, the directions I myself would like to read.

    Note that college/university students sign up through DreamSpark on their own while high school students get access through their schools. The extra step is so that Microsoft doesn't find themselves in the tricky business of validating who is and is not a high school student and gathering a lot of personally identifying information on minors. In short the extra step is for everyone's best interested. My friend Gautam Reddy has a wonderful blog post that explains the step by step of signing a high school up for DreamSpark BTW.

    The first step is to get a DreamSpark account. You’ll need a free Windows Live id for that but the DreamSpark site will help you though that simple process. If you already have a DreamSpark account, sign in and let’s get started.

    1. First register for AppHub through DreamSpark.
      • Under the Download Software link on the DreamSpark home page find the Windows Phone link and select it.
      • Once there select the Register for the App Hub link. (You may want to download the development software while you are there as well.) 
      • Select Student as your account type on the App Hub registration page and enter your contact information
    2. You will get an email to verify your registration. Make sure you use a valid email address that you check. You may want to check to see that this email doesn’t get filtered to your SPAM folder – It happens sometimes.
    3. Now you can submit an app but you are not done yet (sorry) After you submit the first time you will receive an email from a company called GeoTrust. The final verification process is a it of necessary seriousness that neither you  or Microsoft really wants or needs to go through until you actually have an app to submit.
    4. After GeoTrust has verified your identity, you will receive a second email from GeoTrust that asks you to send an signed copy of an ID.  It’s all about making sure people are identified so that they can receive payment  for and take responsibility for their work. This second email can take up to 2-3 days
    5. After you send in the Signed Copy of your ID GeoTrust sends Microsoft the identification information, this can also take up to 2-3 days. At least you only have to do this once.
    6. Once the Signed Copy of the your ID is received the certification process for your application starts.
      • Please note: it can take a maximum of 5 business days to complete the certification
    7. If your application doesn’t meet the certification requirements, the application is rejected. You will be told what requirements are not being met so that you can fix them and submit the app again with the fixes (and you are back to step 6). 
    8. When the certification process ends and certification is successful it takes about 5/6 hours for the app to be placed up in the marketplace.

    Once your app is in the marketplace you’ll want to promote it to friends and potential customers. Make sure that you have a good explanation of the app and its value to others. Good luck!

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Interesting Links 22 November 2010


    Had an interesting end of the week last week. I visited the Bergen County Academies on Friday and on Saturday I attended a meeting of the Northern New Jersey CSTA Chapter. I was able to visit with some teachers I have known for a while and to meet some new (to me) teachers. All in all a good trip. One of the things I learned was that there is a group called MARCH – the Mid Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists who are collecting old computers in New Jersey. They have a very hands on facility and welcome school field trips. Students can actually try out computers that power up and run. A very interesting idea.

    Microsoft on the Issues had a great post titled Enabling Students of All Abilities to Realize Their Potential that talks about making computers accessible to differently abled people. This is an issue that I believe we need to make sure our computing students understand. It’s a big deal.

    From the Microsoft News Twitter (via @MSFTnews) there is a link to a video about an amazing school were 300 young international students believe a good education is key to succeeding here.

    Imagine Cup

    There are four more opportunities to score well enough on an Imagine Cup IT Challenge round 1 quiz to get to the second round. Do you need a little help preparing for the next Imagine Cup IT Challenge Quiz? Resources here

    Looking at getting started in phone development? Then you will want to check out Windows Phone 7 Development for Absolute Beginners

    Ben Nunney (@bennuk) Tweeted  “Are you a girl geek? Ten tonnes of awesomeness on this new Facebook page dedicated to Women at Microsoft.”

    Last week Small Basic 0.91 was released wit support for three new languages - Portuguese (Portugal), Hebrew, and Croatian.

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