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  • Blog Post: Try Kinect at your K-12 School

      Capturing students' interest and making concepts come alive is an educator's greatest challenge!   Kinect™ for Xbox 360® can help get students engaged and inspired with immersive experiences.     è Try Kinect at your K-12 School   The Kinect Trial Program gives K-12 institutions...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Store Summer Camps are Now Open for Registration!

    Microsoft Store Summer Camps are Now Open for Registration! Our 2012 Summer Camps are first come, first served. Don't wait to register your child for one of these four hands-on camps. Go to www.microsoftstore.com/summercamps , select your location, and register for one of our four camps! *The parent...
  • Blog Post: Kinect for Windows: SDK and Runtime version 1.5 Released

    If you are using the Kinect sensor for projects, especially if you have the new Kinect for Widows version, you will want to get the latest software development kit and related tools. There is a full list of what is involved at the Kinect for Windows Blog > Kinect for Windows: SDK and Runtime version...
  • Blog Post: Learning Should Be Fun

    Years ago I was sitting the the front of church and via a fluke of acoustics I heard a little girl in the back of the church tell someone “Stop laughing! It’s Sunday!” Apparently she thought that because Sunday, especially at church, was serious business it should not be fun or happy. Not quite my view...
  • Blog Post: Better Learning Through Movement

    And fun as well. Recently a co-worker sent me a link to some videos that were done by the Houston Independent School District about the pilot program they are running in several elementary schools. These schools are using video games involving the Kinect Sensor to help teach. And not just physical education...
  • Blog Post: Tic Tac Toe for Windows Phone

    Introduction We are going to create a simple Tic Tac Toe game for Windows Phone. We’ll be using Visual Studio as our development environment and C# for our programming language. All the resources you need are listed below and all are free. Resources: Windows Phone Development SDK...
  • Blog Post: National STEM Video Game Challenge TweetChat

    The National STEM Video Game challenge kicked off a couple of months ago but it starting to come down to the wire. IF you missed the spring deadline for the Imagine Cup you can still enter this event though. Inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign , President Obama’s initiative to promote...
  • 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: Time Flies When Learning Is Fun

    I did some work workshops with the great people from Digital Wish again this week (see also Teaching Teachers and Students Together ) We did a full day workshop on web development using Expression Web using the Heavy Metal Car tutorial workshop from http://expression.microsoft.com/education We were able...
  • Blog Post: Teaching Teachers and Students Together

    The other day Chris Bowen (that’s Chris working with students below) and I gave a Kodu workshop for a group of students and teachers in Vermont. This was a train the trainer sort of work shop and the students will be acting as peer tutors as part of after school programs in their local schools. Some...
  • Blog Post: Let’s go do some math

    I was watching an episode of Mythbusters the other day. I always enjoy that show and while most of the attention goes to the two main stars my favorite is Grant Imahara . On this particular episode they were trying to determine if a bullet could set off a rocket propelled grenade and if so what would...
  • Blog Post: Collection of Kinect in Education Links

    Thanks 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....
  • Blog Post: Python, Visual Studio and Kinect

    Python is rapidly growing in popularity in academia. Last week Microsoft announced  Python Tools for Visual Studio – an open source (Apache) and free plug-in that turns Visual Studio into a world-class Python development environment.   Plus now there is : PyKinect , which enables writing...
  • Blog Post: Conversations in Kodu

    Recently the Kodu team announced a new version of Kodu and a new Kodu Community Website. You can read a lot of the details at Announcing the Kodu v1.2 and the Kodu Community Website The expanded community web site is pretty cool. What's the Kodu Community Website ? Also new in this release is...
  • Blog Post: Game Development with XNA Curriculum–Semester Course

    Revitalize your Computer Science program with Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 . This exciting and engaging computer science semester course enables students to apply a basic foundation in programming to create games and simulations for social causes using C# and Microsoft XNA Game Studio. Teaching...
  • Blog Post: Four Dimensional Tic Tac Toe

    Back in my college days we had a computer program that played three-dimensional tic tac toe. The game was played in a four space by four space four level cube. The object of the game was to get four of you pieces in a row.  Ever since I came across the paper on Connect Four that I blogged about...
  • Blog Post: NFTE World Series of Innovation

    Innovation! What is is and how can we teach it to children? Big questions today as many of us believe that innovation in many forms is absolutely critical to success in these “interesting” times. Anyone who has spent any time with children (of any age) knows that they are creative and out of the box...
  • Blog Post: ScriptTD: Tower Defense Game Creation Made Easy

    Coding a game from scratch is hard. Make no mistake about there is a lot to it. OF course many people, especially students, think they are all ready to create the next great game. They can easily be frustrated when they find out that they don’t know near enough about programming (among other things)...
  • Blog Post: Readability in Programming Languages

    I saw a side by side comparison of a bunch of scripting languages online recently. Scripting Languages: PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby My first, and second reaction was yuck! Now I have my biases – biases which may not be shared by others of course. But I like readable code and for me anytime I see a...
  • Blog Post: There Is Research On That

    Computers are good at games. Well sort of. Computers are good at following rules and making decisions based on rules that are programmed into them. These rules have to come from somewhere and that somewhere is people. That computers are good at playing games is do in large part to the fact that people...
  • Blog Post: Web-Based Problem Solving Software for Programming Courses

    We all know that students  benefit for problem solving exercises. Creating these sorts of problems can be difficult and time consuming. Evaluating them and help students with then can be even worse. There are a couple of online sites that can help here. I’m going to highlight several of them here...
  • Blog Post: Computational Tales

    I recently found out (thanks to the SIGCSE mailing list) that Dr. Jeremy Kubica, software engineer and manager at Google, has been putting together a set of examples of CS concepts written as fairy tales . From what I understand, his goal is to provide students an overview of each concept before getting...
  • 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: Would You Like to Pilot a New Game Development Course?

    Would you like to pilot a new game development course (or two)  in your school? With free curriculum and software? Microsoft is starting a new  XNA online community group and curriculum pilot program that features: Free software Free teacher-created curriculum Two one semester courses Here...
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