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

November, 2011

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Big App On Campus


    Microsoft announced a Windows Phone development contest for college/university students in the US (sorry about both the US only and the 18+ only – I’m just the messenger)  The full details with contest rules and other stuff may be found at  Do You Have What it Takes to be the Big App on Campus? but briefly:

    Microsoft is partnering with the band The Gracious Few to create an amazing experience for ten (10) students in Austin, TX at SXSW:  a private concert, backstage passes, a private dinner with the band, and being interviewed on national radio about their apps. There are also $15,000 cash prizes (one for the top free app and another for the top paid app) for the two apps that will be named “Big App on Campus.”

    BAOC is open to US college and university students who build apps for Windows Phone.  Each application created from August 1st, 2011 until February 14th, 2012 can be entered and students can submit multiple entries.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Collection of Kinect in Education Links


    imageThanks to Johnny Kissko (9 Excellent Programming Resources for Kinect) I recently discovered Ray Chambers who is “currently teaching ICT at Lodge Park Technology College in Corby Northamptonshire.” in England  who has been doing a lot with Kinect. Check out some of his more recent blog posts.

    He’s making a lot of his code available which is great. I’ll still digging into it. SO much code – so little time.

    Also there is Kinect to Scratch which looks interesting – to say the least.

    […] developed some software called Kinect2Scratch that allows data from the Microsoft Kinect controller be sent to Scratch, the programming language for kids from the MIT Media Laboratory.

    Channel 9 recently posted about a great project with a lot of potential called 2FAAST Kinect

    Today's project will interest those looking to emulate other Windows input functions via Kinect by showing how the Kinect can work with the Windows Input Simulator (C# SendInput Wrapper - Simulate Keyboard and Mouse) project.

    You’ll want to keep an eye on the Kinect projects at Coding 4 Fun on a regular basis BTW. Johnny Kissko’s KinectEducation site is also a good resource to keep an eye on.

    And remember that the new home of Kinect for Windows is

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    C# Mini Course


    So this is an experiment of sorts. Last summer I was asked to train some college students in C#. The goal was to get them ready to teach some very basic programming to high school students for a short summer program. The students I was to train were in South Dakota. Now South Dakota is a wonderful place but I didn’t quite have the travel funds to go out and do this in person so I did it online. Since I had the capability to record the training I did. Later I gathered it all up and put it on the Faculty Connection in the Faculty Resource section. You can find this C# Mini Course here. What’s in it?

    First off there are about 6 to 8 hours of me lecturing and demonstrating what I was talking about. basically just me teaching the way I would do in person – more or less. You can see the slides I used and watch me demo code examples. That’s a start but I also packaged up the PowerPoint slides that I used. That way if a teacher wants to use them their way they can do that. I also included sample and demo code that I used. Hopefully teachers will find that useful as well. There is also a copy of the C# project book that we have been sharing for years now with some success.

    So if you are looking for something to help get started, something at a simple level without a lot of complexity this may be useful. I hope so. It’s not the fanciest nor the highest production value but the students I taught with it did pretty darn well if I do say so myself. If I get some feedback that I can incorporate into either improving this set or when creating a next level of training I would appreciate it very much.

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