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  • Blog Post: Online Coding Exercises For Programming Education

    Well it is that time of year again – back to school. On the SIGCSE mailing list are a couple of reminders about online exercise tools for a variety of programming langauges.. A few old timers and at least one big new name. I thought it would be worthwhile to list a few of what I know about. The...
  • Blog Post: Pex4fun, an online lab for APCS

    Are you teaching Advanced Placement Computer Science? Are you looking for supplemental exercises that may help you students with the concepts? If so this announcement may be of interest to you. Pex for Fun has been around for a while offering coding duels in C#, F# and Visual Basic. Recently though it...
  • Blog Post: CS AP Principles–UW Bothell

    A number of universities around the US are piloting courses to fit the proposed Advanced Placement CS Principles course . At the University of Washington Bothell Professor Kelvin Sung had the idea to create an CS principles course for AP high school that introduce non-programmers to programming via game...
  • Blog Post: Could You Pass the AP Computer Science Exam?

    There is an article in the Washington Post about a school board member who took a standardized test for 10th grade students. To say he didn’t do well would be an understatement. This got me to wondering – how would professional developers do if they took the Advanced Placement Computer Science...
  • Blog Post: DreamSpark, AppHub and Windows Phone Development

    So are your graduating high school seniors bored? or perhaps you are still looking for things to do after the AP CS exam. or maybe you know college or high school students looking to make a few bucks writing code? ( Student Develops Games For Windows Phone 7 ) Edwin Guarin has a new post out called Dreamspark...
  • Blog Post: Boring is Bad

    I have long been an advocate that teaching should be as much about sharing enthusiasm and it is about imparting information. Teachers who are bored or down on the material will often dampen the interest in the subject that their students feel. They can turn powerful ideas and wonderful stories into tedious...
  • Blog Post: After The APCS Exam

    The Advanced Placement Computer Science exam is just about a month away. While for most schools this is far from the end of the school year for many AP students it feels like they should be done. After all what more to an AP course is there than taking the exam? This means that teachers often struggle...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 14 February 2011

    Happy Valentines Day! Surely there is some appropriate computer project or connection for the day but I can’t think of one off hand. Can you? So for me, here are this weeks interesting links. Oh, before I forget. I have a new format for the blog so if you are reading this via RSS reader jump on...
  • Blog Post: Error Messages and Providing Information

    The most interesting error message I ever saw read something like “Unexpected error – installation dying in disgrace” It was the “dying in disgrace” that I found really amusing. It wasn’t all that helpful but it did provide some humor in an otherwise very serious situation. At the time I was doing application...
  • Blog Post: Teaching to the Test

    OK let me be clear upfront that I am not a big fan of the current Advanced Placement Computer Science exam. And it’s not just because it is Java based. I think it is too much a language specific test and that is, in my opinion, not a good thing. I’m a concepts based person first and foremost...
  • Blog Post: Thoughts On AP CS Principles

    The Advanced Placement Computer Science exam is one of the smallest and least diverse members of the Advanced Placement suite of College Board exams. Very few minorities and very few female students take this exam. In some schools they fact that they dropped from two APCS exams to one hasn’t helped matters...
  • Blog Post: Can we talk? Learning, Conversations and Networking

    Professional development for teachers in a field that changes as fast as computer science education is always going to be an issue. There is never enough time, enough money, enough of the right trainers or any thing else related to professional development. What makes this even larger a problem for compute...
  • Blog Post: Making a List, Checking it Twice

    A while back the College Board dropped one of the Advanced Placement Computer Science exams – the so-called AB exam. (About 14 months ago and I wrote about dropping the APCS AB exam here ) Ever since then there has been a lot of discussion about the AP computer science curriculum in specific and the...
  • Blog Post: When To Take Programming

    The AP CS mailing list has been having a discussion about letting sophomores take Advanced Placement Computer Science. Topics being discussed include “are sophomores ready?” Some are and some aren’t. Another issue was expressed well by someone who said “what happens to the sophomores if there aren't...
  • Blog Post: Recursion Early, Recursion Late

    In some respects I should be writing about SIGCSE today. At least about Craig Mundie’s keynote. But I’m not ready to. Why? Just too much information. My brain is full and it is going to take me a while to sort it all out. I’m hoping that a couple of people who were also here this week will blog about...
  • Blog Post: SIGCSE 2009 Day 1

    It is really great to be back at SIGCSE again this year. I have been coming to SIGCSE for years now. I’m not sure when I started coming but the last five or six years I haven’t missed any. And I have a lot of friends who come most years as well. Some of them I only see at SIGCSE while others I see at...
  • Blog Post: GridWorld RolePlay Online

    If you are an AP CS teacher one of the things that is an important part of your curriculum is the GridWorld case study. The case study is one of the key pieces of the APCS exam and understanding how it works and being able to use and modify it is very important for student success. For a number of years...
  • Blog Post: NECC 2008 Trip Report

    The first thing you have to realize about NECC is that it is huge. There are somewhere between 12,000 and 13,000 attendees and about 4,000 exhibitor staff. There are 8-9 concurrent session slots a day with about 25 sessions in each slot. Plus there are poster sessions, workshops, and more. As the song...
  • Blog Post: Top Conversations In March

    There were a number of blog posts with above average comment counts in March. The post I wrote about number systems in computer science had 9 comments. Pretty much everyone thought this was/is an important topic for computer science students. Personally that was the most fun thing I learned in math before...
  • Blog Post: Is There A Future For High School Computer Science?

    OK that is a fairly provocative title. But I think it is actually a fair and reasonable question. The decision last week to drop one of the Advanced Placement Computer Science exams ( which I discussed here ) has brought a whole new level of discussion about computer science education in general and...
  • Blog Post: College Board to discontinue the AP CS AB exam

    Well the news hit like a thunderclap in the Advanced Placement Computer Science world today - the College Board has decided to discontinue the AP CS AB exam after next school year. That will leave one AP CS exam, the A exam, rather than the two course sequence that exists today. I'm still thinking about...
  • Blog Post: Is Java the Problem?

    Recently an article by Dr. R.B.K Dewar and Dr. E. Schonberg called " Computer Science Education: Where Are the Software Engineers of Tomorrow ?" really got some discussion going. The authors brought up a lot of what they see as problems in computer science education and they placed a good bit of the...
  • Blog Post: Top December Posts

    Well I must confess that I am struggling to get back into the whole "doing work" thing after taking the last 10 or so days off. It's a good thing I had posted some posts to appear during the break or some of your would wonder if I'd fallen off the face of the earth. Well I hope you'd notice. :-) I...
  • Blog Post: Fixing the AP CS Curriculum

    So as you read this it is a day or two after Christmas. You may still be full from Christmas dinner and you just want to take it easy. Or it may be that you don't celebrate Christmas and you are struggling to find interesting content to read on the Internet. Well just for you I wrote this post a week...
  • Blog Post: When the Second Programming Language is Harder to Learn

    Mark Guzdial had an interesting blog post recently titled " Why is assessing learning about computing so hard? " The post is mostly about the limited amount of research available on computer science education. That is a problem I've worried about more than once myself so I was glad to see him bring some...
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