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

November, 2010

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Pledge to Participate in and be a Supporter of Computer Science Education Week!

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    Computer Science Education week is December 5-11, 2010 this year. ACM and the chair of CSed Week steering committer are asking people to sign up and pledge to support CSed Week. I understand that a new CSed Week web site “will be rolling out on November 29, and will encourage students, teachers, industry, and university folks to pledge to engage in some activity to promote computer science education.”

    Join with teachers, students, parents and others who are participating in CSEdWeek activities and events. Sign the pledge now to support CSEdWeek activates and events.

    Pledge here: <www.computinginthecore.org> and list what you are doing to participate in Computer Science Education Week.



  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Microsoft Technology Associate Certifications Revisited

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    Last July I wrote about the Microsoft Technology Associate program and I thought it was time to revisit that program. I have some additional information to post. Specifically I wanted to let you know about the Microsoft Technology Associate Campus License.

    The MTA Campus License enables educators to easily proctor secure, industry relevant technology exams that cover the topics they are already teaching, with just a web browser. It is a practical and cost-effective solution that includes 1,000 MTA exams per year for your institution to deliver to students, faculty and staff. An MTA Campus license allows all departments and programs within your campus to be covered with a single license agreement. It includes the full portfolio of seven MTA exams complete with Certification Exam Review Kits to help educators quickly and easily integrate MTA into their existing curriculum. Your educators and administrators become registered exam proctors providing administrative flexibility for your IT program. The internet based testing (IBT) delivery platform makes it easier than ever to test and certify an entire classroom anywhere on campus, anytime it's convenient for them - with no classroom or desktop restrictions. All they need is an internet connected computer.

    And there is a special deal going on now:

    For a limited time: Institutions can get started with MTA through a FREE 45-Day Trial MTA Campus License—good for up to 50 exams. You receive the entire suite of seven MTA exams including evaluation copies of MTA Certification Exam Review Kits sample supplemental courseware. With the FREE 45-day Trial MTA Campus License, integrating an industry recognized certification into learning curriculums and preparing students for a career in technology has never been easier!

    Also check out the “Are you Certifiable?” Game. It is a fun way to see how much you know and judge if you may be ready to take a certification exam.

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    The following is a partial “reprint” on my earlier post with more information about this great program.

    The program is called the Microsoft Technology Associate program. There are seven exams in two categories – Developer and Information Technology.

    Developer Exams

    • Software Development Fundamentals
    • Web Development Fundamentals
    • Windows Development Fundamentals
    • Database Fundamentals

    IT Professional Exams

    • Networking Fundamentals
    • Security Fundamentals
    • Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

    More information from the Microsoft Technology Associate FAQ

    Q. What is the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification?

    A. The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification is a new, entry-level certification designed to help individuals take the first step toward a career as an IT professional or developer.

    An MTA certification is based on 80 percent knowledge and 20 percent skills. The next step in the Microsoft certification path is Microsoft Technology Specialist (MCTS), which requires hands-on experience with the Microsoft technology platform.

    Students can download and install a complete developer tool set at no cost through the DreamSpark Program.

    Additional information:



  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Interesting Links 22 November 2010

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    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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