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

June, 2011

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Would You Like to Pilot a New Game Development Course?

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    Would you like to pilot a new game development course (or two)  in your school? With free curriculum and software? Microsoft is starting a new  XNA online community group and curriculum pilot program that features:

    • Free software
    • Free teacher-created curriculum
    • Two one semester courses

    Here are the descriptions of the two courses.

    Programming with C# and XNA 1: Advanced Applications in Game Development (1 semester)

    Programming with C# and XNA 1: Game Development is an exciting and engaging computer science course that allows students to apply a basic foundation in programming to the context of game development and simulation using C# and the XNA framework.  C# is a modern and professional object-oriented programming language which when combined with the XNA framework creates the XNA Game Studio – a professional game development environment for Xbox 360 and Windows Phone development.  Students will learn how variables, conditionals, and loops get applied to game creation.  They will also learn and apply Object-Oriented design, inheritance and polymorphism, recursion, sorting, searching, and data structures.  The curriculum package contains a curriculum framework, lesson plans, demonstration projects, video tutorials, lab assignments, student activities, and assessment tools with keys and exemplars.  Student-directed learning resources support independent learning, freeing teachers to focusing on instruction of computer science concepts and student assessment. 

    Programming with C# and XNA 2: Windows Phone 7 and the Imagine Cup (1 semester)

    Imagine designing and programming a simulation or game to address a real-world problem.  Now imagine that the application can be operated on a mobile device and can be sold in a global marketplace.  The excitement and engagement of programming within a game context continues as students learn to design and implement complex games within the Windows Phone 7 environment and explore games for social causes. Programming with C# and XNA 2: Windows Phone 7 and the Imagine Cup provides a capstone experience in designing a simulation or game solution and deploying it the Windows Phone 7.  Students will learn about using a touch interface and analyzing accelerometer data, as well as communicating and collaborating within a team.  Students will create complex algorithms for game situations using advanced data structures such as Stacks, Queues, and Lists.  This curriculum package contains a curriculum framework, lesson plans, demonstration projects, video tutorials, lab assignments, student activities, and assessment tools with keys and exemplars.  Student-directed learning resources support independent learning, freeing teachers to focusing on instruction of computer science concepts and student assessment.

    More information InnovativeTeachers@microsoft.com or on the web at http://us.partnersinlearningnetwork.com/communities/xna_game_development



  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Microsoft at ISTE 2011

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    Microsoft at ISTE 2011. June 26-19, Philadelphia

    As I promised yesterday, here is more information about Microsoft at ISTE 2011 in Philadelphia. First off the good stuff. OK well the stuff that means the most to me – presentations by friends of mine that have to do with computer science topics. Pat Yongpradit and Bryan Baker are both giving talks that are on the regular ISTE schedule. Both have something to do with Game Programming using XNA and both have experience with these topics and are well worth listening to. I will be joining Bryan who will also be doing his talk a second time in the Marriott Hotel in the Microsoft breakout room.

    Meeting Computer Science Learning Standards with Microsoft XNA Game Development

    Pat Yongpradit Springbrook High School

    Monday, 6/27/2011, 11:00am–12:00pm
    PACC 107B

    Using Game Design with XNA and Kinect in a Collaboration with other HS Departments for the development of student interactive curriculum

    Bryan Baker, Allen High School with Alfred Thompson

    Monday, 6/27/2011, 12:45pm–1:45pm
    PACC 202B

    Wednesday 6/29/2011, 9:30 am - 10:30 am.    
    Marriott Hotel,  Room 304

    Now for any all all teachers who will be in Philadelphia on Sunday, there is also a free workshop presented by Microsoft and those nice people at Dell Sunday 8:30–11:30 A.M.

    Dell and Microsoft Innovative Educator pre-conference workshop
    Don't miss out on this opportunity to be part of the Microsoft Innovative Educator program. This flagship teacher professional development program is for K–12 educators who want to creatively and effectively use technology in relevant ways in the classroom. Join Microsoft and Dell for this hands-on workshop. Space is limited. Registration is required. For further details and to register, visit http://bit.ly/MSatISTE.

    You can also attend free learning sessions to discover how Microsoft products and programs can positively impact the classroom and the school community. I’m pretty sure that some of the sessions, the breakfast ones for example, come with free food.

    Visit the Microsoft booth (#1317) to:

    • Discuss your specific needs with our technology experts.
    • Play Kinect for Xbox 360, and see how gaming can improve learning and health.
    • Enter to win an Xbox Kinect for your school.
    • Check out Windows Phone 7, and try the latest devices running the Windows 7 operating system, including slates and PCs.
    • Meet me in person. Smile Hope to see some of you there.


  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Award Winning Keynoters at CSTA's Annual CS&IT Conference 2011

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    This year, CSTA’s annual CS&IT conference will include two fabulous keynoters:

    *Douglas Rushkoff*: award-winning author of Program or be Programmed.

    *Ken Perlin*: Academy Award winner for his work on Perlin Noise, which allows computer graphics artists to better represent the complexity of natural phenomena in visual effects for the motion picture industry.

    This is the High School Computer Science professional development experience you do not want to miss!

    When:

    • July 11: Hands-on Workshops: Columbia University
    • July 12: Keynotes and Breakouts: Columbia University
    • July 13: Imagine Cup Activities: NYU Games for Learning Institute – I can promise you some interesting experiences this day. Previous Imagine Cup Finals events have been nothing short of amazing!

    Registration for the 11h annual Computer Science & Information Technology Symposium at Columbia University Faculty House in New York, NY is filling up. Pre-registration is required and will be accepted for the first 250 teachers. We strongly urge you to register soon in order to be assured of a spot. Follow this link to register now: http://tinyurl.com/csit2011reg

    *Please note that you must complete the Google checkout in order to be fully registered for the conference!*

    Complete information about the conference, including the main conference agenda and the Imagine Cup Finale agenda, are now available on the CS&IT conference website at: http://www.csitsymposium.org

    If you have already registered, be sure to book your hotel no later than June 15th to take advantage of the special housing block prices.

    Conference housing information is available on the CS&IT conference website at: http://www.csitsymposium.org

    Thanks to the generous donations of our sponsors, the registration fee of $40 (+$50 per workshop) includes lunches, resource materials, conference reception, raffle, and exciting Microsoft Imagine Cup activities in New York City.

    The 2011 CSTA CS&IT conference is made possible by the generous support of Microsoft Research, Google, and the Anita Borg Institute.

    Register today for this exciting event!

    • Duncan Buell, Program Chair
    • Dave Reed, Workshop Chair
    • Chris Stephenson, Conference Chair


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