Last week was incredible at the US Innovative Education Forum. I’ll have more to say about that as this week goes on. Some great educators to highlight for example. Some lessons learned. And some pictures.BTW one of the teachers at the IEF, Kenneth Holden (@kennetholden) has posted his IEF Day 3 - Post-Reflection. Read about all of the US Innovative Education Forum top teams and watch the fun video at the TeacherTech blog. But for today I’m going to keep with my tradition of sharing interesting links. And there are a bunch of them this week. A lot going on. Perhaps people are getting fired up for the start of school. In some parts of the US it is still a month away while in others the time is being measured in weeks or just even days. So here we go.

A couple of interesting autism links to start with. Using Kinect to help teach autistic children (a video)  In the coming months, the Hacking Autism Hackathon will work with touch-enabled apps for the autism community:  (Brought to you by HP)

Ken Royal (@kenroyal) has an interesting Royal Treatment interview with Cameron Evans: Teaching Innovation.

Also up last week, Den Delimarsky  (@DennisCode) and @shanuapril had the chance to interview Soma Somasegar - senior VP of Microsoft’s Developer Division. At the beginning it sounds as if Soma is interviewing them though. But it turns into a great conversation.

A reminder from Microsoft Research (@MSFTResearch) The contest is on! Your winning tour could be featured on Microsoft Research’s WorldWide Telescope. MSR Intern Genevieve L'Esperance (pictured with me below during my recent visit to Redmond) is running this competition. Know any budding astronomers who would like to enter? Send them there.  

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Also from Microsoft research is this Video about how MSR and the University of Washington are collaborating on a functional lens that promises to improve quality of life for diabetics and others. Speaking of medical break through, Wilson To and his Imagine Cup team developed a new malaria test - BusinessWeek covered their project and it’s potential last week.

Cool new blog post by MSFT office team - 'What were teachers talking about at ISTE' ?

Did you know that Microsoft’s Citizenship program (@msftcitizenship) donates software to nonprofits? 

Posted by Computer Science Education Week (@CSEdWeek) CSTA's Executive Director, Chris Stephenson, speaks on the need to improve K-12 Computer Science in Oregon to Senator Merkley. A lot of interesting, useful, and to some extent worrisome information in her testimony.

I spend a lot of time last week with Vicki Davis (@CoolCatTeacher) who was a judge for the Innovative Education Forum. She had a great op-ed piece in The Washington Post  - The greatest teacher incentive: The freedom to teach. One thing the teachers at the IEF has was this freedom to teach. Their results proved the value of this freedom in my eyes.