Did you do anything special for Computer Science Education week last week? The one thing I did was to host a group of about 40 students from Easthampton (MA) high school at the Microsoft offices in Cambridge (MA). I talked a bit about careers in technology in general, jobs at Microsoft and took them on a brief tour of some of our offices so they could see the open environment that Microsoft software engineers (and others) are working in. It was great to be able to show off the facility but even better to be with a group of students. They asked some great questions as well.
A lot of my Twitter traffic last week was about Computer Science Education week but there were other interesting things coming across my virtual desk as well. Here now are the best of them. (BTW you can follow me on Twitter @AlfredTwo. If you do please be sure and say “Hi.”
Audrey Watters (@audreywatters) of the ReadWriteWeb wrote a story on 4 (More) Tools for Teaching Kids to Code which includes good reviews of Kodu and Small Basic among other tools.
From the @TeachTec twitter account this link to a new Teacher's Guide for Accessibility features of Windows. There are now nine different teacher guides at that web site. I’m sure you’ll find some of them useful. Accessibility features though are an important part of Windows that far too many people know about. If you have special needs students in your school (and who doesn’t?) this is well worth checking out.
Some great video links out this week. From the Dot Diva web site (twitter @DotDiva) there are profiles of women in technology making a difference in the world. Also the Computing Educators Oral History Project has a newly updates web site and a new YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/CEOHP. Lots of good information at both sites. I think the Dot Diva interviews and all of the women recorded in the oral history project are particularly important for showing girls that there are indeed women in the computer fields.
Speaking of girls Got Game: How to Keep Girls Interested in Computer Science is a great article from Edutopia about an after school program that teaches girls how to program computer games.
Speaking of games (notice the flow here? ) Andrew Parsons (@MrAndyPuppy) has a blog post on Game Design: The Tools You Need Andrew is a big part of the Imagine Cup Game Development competition and has lots of insights into game development.
New from Mouse Mischief, one of the single coolest add-ons for PowerPoint in education I know of, there is a collection of multiple mouse PowerPoint decks for classroom use. A whole bunch of them! Note that there is a Mouse Mischief blog you can follow as well.
The ACM Twitter accountsincluding @TheOfficialACM posted a lot of links last week. One of them was CS exposes students to innovation & skills that drive economic growth and success of our nation’s businesses. Also the Blogs at CACM Twitter (@blogCACM) posted a link to an article about how the massive amount of real-time information is leading to new programming approaches.