What a great week last week was. My big planned event was a meeting of the ACM/IEEE CS 2013 committee in Seattle WA. As it turns out that meant I was able to attend the closing gala for the Microsoft Partners in Learning US Forum. I’ll have a separate blog with links to that event. It is enough to say that it was very exciting to meet some of this year’s winners who will be going on to represent American teachers in the world-wide forum in Prague later this year. It was also great to see some old friends and outstanding teachers who I have either known for a while (some of them were US Forum judges) or met in the last year or so. Some very innovative things going on! But for now here is a large collection of other links I have collected over the past week.

From the Computer Science Teachers Association you can now download the September issue of the CSTA Voice: Back to School!

Girls Who Code is a summer program being run in New York City to introduce girls from around that city to computer science and programming. They are doing Windows Phone app development using Touch Develop.

Kodu MarsDid you follow the landing of the latest Mars rover – Curiosity? Well if you did or even if you just know a bunch of space crazy students the latest version of Kodu is for you. Last week Microsoft announced  (and launched) Kodu:Mars Edition. Download it at http://www.kodugamelab.com .

While a lot of the news last week was Windows 8 being released to manufacturing that was not the only big product announcement. Visual Studio 2012 was also released to manufacturing. A virtual launch event is coming in September BTW. But yeah, Window8 is released  and the store is open for business  Get your app in!

Are you on the west coast and interested in Windows 8 development? If so, Randy Guthrie announces Windows 8 App Workshops for Academic Audiences Scheduled for the Western US. Check them out and learn a lot.

Also about Windows 8, Chris Bowen lists The Top 10 Windows 8 Secrets of App Success. Chris knows his stuff and his post has been getting a lot of attention. Well worth reading.

 For those of you interested in game development and Windows 8, my manager Bob Familiar has released three posts in a series on Windows 8, XNA and MonoGame.

Free books are always popular. Here are two collections of them for your reading and learning pleasure.