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  • Blog Post: One Option for How to Teach Kodu

    I recently ran some workshops to prepare students to be peer mentors and to mentor younger students with Kodu. The method I suggest is to have mentors show students some small steps and then let the students try. The latest version of Kodu has some really nice step by step lessons that students can do...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Computer Science Before Programming

    For most people the first real computer science course is introduction to programming. It may be called something else but effectively what it is is a course that teaches programming. Along the way concepts like encapsulation and abstraction are also taught and, hopefully, learned. The new CS Principles...
  • Blog Post: A Post BASIC World?

    What does is mean to be in a post BASIC world? This is the question that comes to mine when I read about an article titled How are students learning programming in a post-Basic world? I think that for most of the people in the discussion it means that we are no longer in an era where all computers come...
  • Blog Post: Home Grown Computer Camp

    Michael Scherotter who works for Microsoft decided to run a computer programming day camp in his home for his 9 year old son and 9 of his friends. Taking  on teaching programming to 10-year olds may not be for everyone but from the sound of Michael’s blog posts it sure sounds not only possible but...
  • Blog Post: So You Want To Teach Your Kids To Program?

    In all honestly I tend to avoid Slashdot. Oh I scan it for the news from time to time but I work hard at avoiding the comments and avoid the Q&A forums. Why? The heat to light ratio is horrible. For every person who adds a solid, thoughtful informative reply there are several who just want to attack...
  • Blog Post: Kodu Programming For Kids

    I’ve demoed Kodu a number of times and I’ve showed it to individual children briefly as well. Last Saturday I did a workshop for kids at HacKid at the Microsoft office in Cambridge MA and that was different. I had about a baker’s dozen young people between about 8 and 12. About half girls and half boys...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links Post 23 August 2010

    Happy Monday! Are you back to school yet? A lot of teachers are. If you are back I hope it is going well. If not yet, are you working out to get into “teaching shape?” The Principal’s Page had a post about that last week - Teacher Tired. Well in my attempt to be useful here is my weekly round up of interesting...
  • Blog Post: Kodu Game Lab - Classroom Kit

    The Kodu team has just released a classroom kit of Kodu resources . If you are thinking about using Kodu either in a summer program or with students in the fall this will be a good place for you to start A range of lesson plans and activities are available for Kodu. The lessons are designed to be flexible...
  • Blog Post: And here a miracle happens

    I was reading a post by Mark Guzdial yesterday ( In Praise of Drill and Practice ) and was struck by this passage: […] we really don’t have much for CS learners before throwing them in front of a speeding interpreter or compiler.  A blank editor window is a mighty big fill-in-the-blank question...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 3 May 2010

    Last week was a struggle for me both blogging and otherwise. A lot of stuff going on at work and at home. Plus of course I spent a lot of my blogging energy on the Imagine Cup . I loved being at and blogging about the Imagine Cup though so it was worth it for me. I really hope a lot more top notch high...
  • Blog Post: Rethinking Hello World

    Is it time to rethink and replace “Hello world?” Honestly I think so. The purpose of “Hello Word” is to walk a beginner through the process of creating a minimal computer program and getting it to run. It probably made sense when one had to use a text editor to  create a file and then manually run...
  • Blog Post: Small Basic is Moving And Other Resources On the BDLC

    Small Basic is now part of the Beginning Developer Learning Center . Looks like the whole landing page for the BDLC has been updated as well. Check out the Kids’s Corner for links for: Small Basic for Small Wonders Robotics with LEGO Mindstorms C# For Sharp Kids VB For Very Bright Kids...
  • Blog Post: Small Basic 0.8 Now with Silverlight

    There is a new version of Small Basic out this week. More details about it on the Small Basic blog but briefly: This release features: Addition of details about your published programs. Rating system for programs published online. Rich formatting based copy (useful for printing...
  • Blog Post: What Programming Language to Teach First?

    Have you ever been asked a question that you have been asked time and again but suddenly decided you have a different answer for? One of the questions I hear a lot is what programming language should be taught first and this question was asked of a panel I say on last week. Except for me it was an impressive...
  • Blog Post: Programming as a super power

    From the time I wrote my first computer program about 38 years ago as a college student there has always been a bit of magic about the process. A bit of a super power sort of feeling if you will. Back in those days the average college/university had one computer, perhaps two, and they were kept locked...
  • Blog Post: Kodu Game-Creation Tool for Kids Adapted for the PC

    I love Kodu and I’ve written about it before ( my Kodu blog posts ) and I am regularly asked “when can I get Kodu for the PCs in my classroom?” Well now there is a public beta of the PC version out ( Kodu announcement ) and it doesn’t require Xbox controllers even! Microsoft is pushing to bring computer...
  • Blog Post: But I Don’t Want to be a Programmer

    One of the things I hear pretty regularly is that not everyone needs (or wants) to be a programmer. Some people want or perhaps even need to do some programming or more generally programming like activities but they don’t want to be full time programmers or computer scientists. These people can be a...
  • Blog Post: RoboZZle – a social puzzle game

    RoboZZle bills itself as “a social puzzle game” but to me is is a fun and interesting way to introduce programming concepts. Yes it is a puzzle. The social aspect is that members of the community can create their own games. There are a series of tutorial puzzles to start things off. One of the things...
  • Blog Post: Kodu Demo – Programming for little kids

    The other week while I was at NECC (what a great time meeting with and learning from some wonderful educators) we filmed a video of me demonstrating Kodu . You can see it and read some thoughts from the Microsoft Education team at the Microsoft US Education blog . Kodu demonstration for schools Some...
  • Blog Post: Blog Reviews – Begin Game Programming & Teaching CS to Kids

    I follow a lot of blogs that have to do with computer science and education in general. It seemed to me that reviewing some of them might be helpful or at least interesting to others who are looking for blogs to follow. Today I’m going to talk about two of them Begin Game Programming and Ideas for Teaching...
  • Blog Post: Useful Web Links for Computer Science Teachers

    I keep doing sets of links to hand out at various conferences. It seems like every time I do the list comes out a little differently. Some new things. Some things have new addresses. And the order of things changes for the audience. This list is from a pair of handouts I have put together for a high...
  • Blog Post: Small Basic 0.2 Goes Live

    The latest update of Small Basic went live this week. I wrote about Small Basic once before . The latest version includes a list of improvements, additions and bug fixes. See also the Small Basic forums or the Small Basic Blog for more information. At a high level, this release includes the following...
  • Blog Post: LearnScratch.ORG

    I keep learning cool things from Twitter. No really. The people I follow are often doing interesting and educational things and sharing via Twitter. Last week someone posted a Tweet about http://learnscratch.org/ . I made a note to visit the site and did so this week. It is pretty cool and very helpful...
  • Blog Post: Computer Science for Middle School

    I spent yesterday at a large STEM event in Denver Colorado. Something like 1,500 middle school girls were brought to the Colorado Convention center for workshops and talks about science, technology and engineering. My colleague Hilary Pike conducted several workshops while I manned the booth we had in...
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