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

March, 2012

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Register for CSTA's 2012 Annual CS&IT Conference


    CSTA's Annual CS&IT Conference

    This is the big and best professional development event of the year for middle and high school computer science educators. The program of session and workshops gets better every year and this year looks to be no exception. (I may be biased as I am on the program committee but still … ) Please sign soon as the conference and the workshops will be filling up.

    July 9 & 10, 2012 Hyatt Regency, Irvine, California

    • July 9: Hands-on Workshops
    • July 10: Keynotes and Breakouts

    You are cordially invited to attend the 12h annual Computer Science & Information Technology Conference (CS&IT) at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, California!

    This Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) conference is a professional development opportunity for computer science and information technology teachers who need practical, classroom focused information to help them prepare their students for the future.

    Learning and Networking Opportunities

    Take advantage of this opportunity for relevant professional development!

    • Explore issues and trends relating directly to your classroom
    • Network with top professionals from across the country
    • Interact with other teachers to gain new perspectives on shared challenges

    Act now to register for the CS& IT Conference 2012 at:

    Pre-registration is required and will be accepted for the first 250 teachers. You will receive a letter of confirmation when your registration is processed that will include the final agenda and location details. Registration deadline is June 28, 2012. Also please note that you must complete the Google checkout in order to be fully registered for the conference!

    Find more information at:

    Thanks to the generous donations of our sponsors, the registration fee of $50 (+$50 per workshop) includes lunches, resource materials, and raffle.

    Please note that all workshops are “bring your own laptop” and that registration is limited to 25-30 participants so please be sure to register early to get your workshop choice. Workshop registrations are non transferable (it will not be possible to change workshops onsite).

    The 2012 CSTA CS&IT Conference is made possible by the generous support of Microsoft Research, Google, and the Anita Borg Institute.

    Please join us for this exciting event!

    Duncan Buell
    CSIT Program Chair
    Dave Reed
    CSIT Workshop Chair

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Using Kinect for Windows with XNA Curriculum


    I mentioned Rob Miles new Using Kinect for Windows with XNA curriculum in Monday’s Interesting Links post. I was a bit afraid that the announcement might get “lost” there so wanted to highlight these materials in a post all on it’s own. I know a lot of people are thinking about using Kinect at the end of the semester or after the AP exam. Or perhaps just as a way to keep some excitement going in their course. These materials include a well-written support document, a number of really well-done PowerPoint presentations and sample code to demonstrate what is bring taught. These materials will really give you a jump start into learning and teaching Kinect software development.

    This material, created by Rob Miles (University of Hull, United Kingdom), contains information on the Microsoft Kinect sensor bar and the Microsoft Kinect SDK. It assumes a working knowledge of the C# programming language, the XNA framework and program development using Visual Studio.

    Table of Contents:

    • Introduction
      • Welcome
      • What you need to develop code
    • An Introduction to Kinect
      • The Kinect Sensor
      • Inside a Kinect Sensor Bar
      • Connecting the Sensor Bar
      • Installing the Kinect for Windows SDK
      • What We Have Learned
    • Writing Kinect Programs
      • Using the Kinect Video Camera
      • Using the Kinect Depth Camera
      • Using Sound with Kinect
      • What We Have Learned
    • Kinect Natural User Interfaces
      • People tracking in Kinect
      • Creating Augmented Reality
      • Adding Voice Response
      • What We Have Learned
  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    CS 2012 Strawman Draft Comment Period Open


    As I mentioned a few weeks ago, (ACM/IEEE-CS Computer Science Curricula 2013 - Strawman draft) the ACM/IEEE-CS Computer Science Curricula 2013 (CS2013) Strawman draft is now available at the CS2013 website or directly at:

    The committee welcomes community comment on the CS2013 Strawman draft. The comment period is now open and will remain open until July 15, 2012. Instructions for how to submit comments are available at the CS2013 website or directly at:

    Comments on the Strawman draft will be addressed in future revisions of theCCS2013 report. We hope you take this opportunity to help shape the ACM/IEEE-CS Computer Science curricular guidelines for the coming decade.

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