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  • Blog Post: Small Basic 1.0 is here!

    Have you been working with Small Basic? If so you probably know that it has officially been pre-release software. Well not it is released software and you can now download Small Basic 1.0 .. With the addition of Icelandic (Yes Icelandic) it is now available in 20 different languages. Not only that but...
  • Blog Post: CS & IT 2011 Day 2

    Wow! The day started off with a bang. Doug Rushkoff, who wrote Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age , was the opening keynote. Agree or disagree with what he says he was a dynamic speaker. I think most of us would have been ok if he had run long. One of the things he said is that...
  • Blog Post: CS & IT Conference Day 1 - 2011

    This year CSTA is trying a bunch of new things with the CS & IT Conference. First off we added a workshop day on the front end. So yesterday there were a number of three hour workshops. You can see what was offered on the CS & IT agenda . I sat in on Video Game Programming with Microsoft XNA...
  • 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: The Credit Card Project

    I’m a firm believer that programming projects are best when they are about things that are interesting to students. Money tends to interest them so I have long thought about a project involving credit cards. Aren’t credit cards what a lot of students think on when thinking about buying things? I’m known...
  • Blog Post: TCEA 2011 In Review

    I’m on my way home from TCEA which is probably the largest regional technology in education conference in the country. As usual it was great to see a lot of old friends and I had some great conversations. Texas is, in some ways, ahead of much of the country in computer science education. But even here...
  • Blog Post: Does learning have to stop when the last bell rings?

    We have this tendency to think that learning at school takes place only between the opening and closing bells of the “regular school day.” Oh we know about after school programs but there is a tendency to think of them as babysitting at worst and remediation at best. Occasionally we have the good sense...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 22 November 2010

    Had an interesting end of the week last week. I visited the Bergen County Academies on Friday and on Saturday I attended a meeting of the Northern New Jersey CSTA Chapter. I was able to visit with some teachers I have known for a while and to meet some new (to me) teachers. All in all a good trip. One...
  • Blog Post: Lines Can Be Fun

    Graphics can be a lot of fun for students. Well honestly they are fun  for a lot of adults. Recently I read a blog post by Cate Huston ( Experimenting with a Visual, Activity-Based Curriculum ) about some totally visual, graphical project based learning she was working on. Leading off was an image...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 11 October 2010

    Yesterday was 10/10/10 which a lot of geek types had fun with. Of course 101010 in binary is 42 in decimal and 42, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the answer to everything. But your probably knew that. Speaking of geeky number stuff, David Johnston, Canada's new Governor General...
  • Blog Post: Small Basic Curriculum

    Small Basic is, in my opinion, one of the really cool platforms for introducing programming to younger students. A simple IDE, a simple subset of BASIC, and built in turtle graphics all resonate with me. And a number of teachers around the world seem to agree. One thing we have been lacking though was...
  • 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: Shortening the Time To Fun

    Recently my friend and co-worker Dan Waters was giving a presentation about XNA Game Studio as a development platform for the new Windows Phone 7s. One of the benefits of XNA is that it reduces the “time to fun.” In other words, the tool means that it takes less time and effort to get to...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 16 August 2010

    I was on vacation last week. I could not seem to stay away from the Internet and from blogging though. So there were blog posts and I was on Twitter a good bit. I also scanned my email regularly (otherwise catching up after vacation is HARD) and so I have some links to share today. I’m also relisting...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 12 July 2010

    I’m up early this morning to take a flight out to California. I’ll be presenting at the annual CSTA CS & IT Symposium tomorrow. I’m very excited as I hear there is a full house expected. Since I was on the program committee (and highly honored to be part of it) and had a hand in picking the presentations...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 21 June 2010

    By rough count I went through 160 Tweets to cull out the interesting links for today’s post. It makes me wonder if I tweet too much. Of course for me Twitter is a lot about the conversation which explains a lot of that number. I hope for conversations here in the comments of this blog as well....
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 14 June 2010

    Is school done for the year where you are? Here in the northeast of the US there is another week or two to go. Teachers are finishing up the year, getting their grades done, graduation events are everywhere and I think many teachers are looking to take some time off before even thinking about next school...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 7 June 2010

    I tried to take most of last week off. Well I guess I actually did officially take most of the week off but somehow I spent more time than I should have on email and Twitter. Perhaps I have a problem. :-) But I didn’t really blog and I avoided most real work. I even made it to the beach for a while...
  • 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: The Intersection of Education and Entertainment

    How many times have you heard a teacher say something like “I’m here to educate them not to entertain them.” Sometimes it almost seems as though they regard education as bad tasting medicine that students need to take whether they like it or not. Other times is it is a reaction to students complaining...
  • 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: Interesting Links 22 February 2010

    I blogged a lot of opinion pieces last week. I’ll try to have more information this week. But at the very least I have a few good links to share today. One of the best may be Teaching Kids Programming – Teaching Girls to code in Danish which is a trip report by Lynn Langit who recently took her 2 day...
  • 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: Learning About Programming Language Design

    Did you ever wonder why a programming language did or did not have a specific feature? Have you ever thought about what a first/learning programming language should look like? What features should it have? What should the IDE look like? Are you curious about a language called Small Basic ? If you answered...
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