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

March, 2011

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Interesting Links 7 March 2011


    SIGCSE 2011Are you going to be at SIGCSE in Dallas this week? I get in on Tuesday and with be there until Saturday. I hope that if you are there you will stop by the Microsoft booth and say hello. Attendees will (assuming all goes as planned) get a DVD with software and links to free resources from Microsoft. Links to most of that would be at the new US Teachers web site by later in the week. So if you are not going to SIGCSE you can still get it all from the Internet. So here now the links I have collected over the last week or so.

    Nice link from the national Center for Women in Technology (@NCWIT) "Where are the women? We've been here all along." Amber Bouman's "15 Most Important Women in Tech History" Who else would be on your list? Do you and your students know about these women and their contributions?

    This interesting “rant” Want To Be A Game Designer? Learn To Code. has been getting a huge amount of discussion on some game design in education forums. Just how important it is to know how to code to get a job in game design is still an open question but clearly for some companies it is a distinction can can make the difference between getting a job and not even getting an interview. Something to think about for all those clever students who want to design games but who are not interested in doing the work it takes to learn to program.

    A reminder from the CSTA Twitter account (are you following @csteachersa yet?) Registration is now open for CS & IT 2011, at Columbia University in New York, NY! It’s going to be outstanding! Speaking of CSTA, an interesting post on the CSTA blog asks What's Happening in CS in Other Countries If you are reading from outside the US pleas jump over there and leave some information in the comments. Thanks!

    Mark Guzdial has another somewhat controversial post titled Improve Computing Education: Take the More-than-Java Pledge where he takes a whack at using Java for a first programming course. The comments are interesting to say the least. More from Mark is this great post called Let's Teach Malware When It's Ready Thinking about it has been distracting. A blog response is coming at some point.

    Are you a member of the Innovative Educators Forum? From the people at RT @TeachTec: And btw,we will send you some fun Bing Classroom posters if you apply to IEF by April 1st

    Microsoft’s latest Tech Student of the Month is a very interesting student from the University of Texas – Arlington

    Last but far from least, Doug Peterson (@dougpete) has a post called Writing and Sharing Code That talks about the exchange of first a post by him, a Twitter conversation we had, and his writing some code that he shared in a way I could link to in a post of mine. (The Credit Card Project) This is a great example of the sorts of collaboration that blogging, Twitter and other social media can facilitate in ways that were never before possible. Are you sharing your ideas on social media? Why not?

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Dream. Build. Play. is back for 2011



    Honestly if you are a student you REALLY want to enter the Imagine Cup game development competition. Really you do. But if you missed some of the deadlines (tsk tsk tsk) or you are looking for another game development competition  to enter than Dream. Build. Play may be for you. If you are a hobbyist game developer, or you are that undiscovered game development expert with an idea for a great Xbox 360 game, than Dream. Build. Play is definitely for you! Registration is now open and continues through May 17th 2011.

    The Dream.Build.Play Challenge is back, and we’re more excited than ever to see your ideas come to life. Build the next mind-blowing game for Xbox 360® using XNA Game Studio 4.0, and you could win the prize and fame! Set the power of your imagination free – and let the game challenge begin.
    Learn more about the Challenge »

    Students be sure to check out DreamSpark for all the development software you could possibly need. Oh and need I remind you that it is free!

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Student Develops Games For Windows Phone 7


    Jakub Poznanski,  Jake to most people, is studying  computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. He was born in Białystok, Poland, but has lived most of his life in the United States. Jake was an intern at Microsoft last summer, working on Windows Phone 7.Lately Jake has been creating games for the Windows Phone 7 devices. Along the way he has racked up an impressive set of milestones. From Jake:

    This is a pretty impressive set of accomplishments for someone still in university – although admittedly Carnegie Mellon University is known for turning out some pretty accomplished students and interning at Microsoft couldn’t hurt. Smile  (BTW check out this video interview with a younger student Teenager Makes Money Writing Windows Phone 7 Apps with AdCenter who learned how to create Windows Phone apps on his own. Resources are listed at that link as well.)

    Windows Phone 7 Development tools are free for students through the DreamSpark program as are submissions  to the app store. It’s a pretty good way for students to not only learn and have fun but built an impressive portfolio that they can show potential employers.

    Jake’s current list of games available in the Windows Phone App  Store is below and you can read more about them on his web site at under software. He also has some tutorials there as well.

    • FreeCell:         wp7_320x50_blue
    • Hearts:                          wp7_320x50_blue
    • Solitaire        wp7_320x50_blue
    • Word Search: wp7_320x50_blue
    • Ice Ball:           wp7_320x50_blue
    • Word Chief:         wp7_320x50_blue

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