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  • Blog Post: Be What’s Next!

    Grace Hopper used to tell her audiences that if they ever used “because we have always done it this way” as an excuse for anything that she would magically appear next to them to “haunt” them. I first heard her say that some 40 years ago and it has stuck with me since then. And yet people do use that...
  • Blog Post: Game Design with XNA, Kinect and Windows Phone

    Please take a look at the new Game Design with XNA and Microsoft Technologies: Advanced XNA, Kinect, and Windows Phone curriculum units that have just been completed and are ready for classroom (or other) use. The teacher-created and classroom-tested lessons and projects are easy to engage and include...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone Software Development Kit

    I know I have mentioned the Windows Phone SDK (software development kit) a lot in the past but usually only as a reference along with other things. It really deserves a post of its own though. T he Windows Phone Software Development Kit (SDK) 7.1 provides you with all of the tools that you need to develop...
  • Blog Post: The Perfect Educational Computer Lab

    I had the following question via Twitter the other day “ Hey Alfred. We got permission to overhaul our computer lab, Have you seen any innovative strategies or configurations?” Now this is a question that comes up pretty regularly among computer science teachers. Or teachers who teach computer...
  • 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: 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft at ISTE 2011

    As I promised yesterday, here is more information about Microsoft at ISTE 2011 in Philadelphia. First off the good stuff. OK well the stuff that means the most to me – presentations by friends of mine that have to do with computer science topics. Pat Yongpradit and Bryan Baker are both giving talks that...
  • Blog Post: Atlanta (Georgia) Area Windows Phone Camp for Students

    Tara Walker is running a three-day Microsoft Mobile Development appLab at the Library at the Atlanta-Fulton County Library June 7 - 9th : 9:30am - 4:00pm This is a Three-Day Mobile Development Camp that will take you from beginning to learning how to build robust Windows Phone applications and games...
  • Blog Post: XNA and Visual Basic–Your First Lesson

    I have been playing with Visual Basic and XNA for a few days now. Support has been out for VB and XNA for a little while now but the release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 Beta and a new document on Visual Basic Support in XNA Game Studio (Mango) has really kicked me into trying it out. As...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone 7 Games in Visual Basic

    I’ve been working all week in C#. Now C# is a wonderful language if you are going to use semi-colons and curly braces. It fixes almost all of the issues I have with C++ and Java. But frankly I have missed the beauty of programming in Visual Basic. So when I saw Sam Stokes’ post ( You can...
  • Blog Post: XNA Game Development Tutorial

    From the makers of the “XNA Game Studio Beginner’s Guide” DVD’s, the next evolution of Game Development training for Beginners! Online. Plaintext Searchable Code. Lessons for Design, Art, and Programming. Everything You Need, Free. Jump in at: http://create.msdn.com/gamedevelopment Developed in Collaboration...
  • Blog Post: XozGaming–High School Team in the US Imagine Cup Finals

    XozGaming is an Imagine Cup game development team made up of two high school juniors from Lick-Wilmerding High School . Julius is the artist and Xander is the programmer behind their XNA Game – Strain. Strain is a Windows real time strategy game where you defend the world against a global...
  • 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: Whack Something Game for Windows Phone 7

    The last several yeas the University of New Hampshire has put on a “Hi Tech” day for area high school students. Between 150 and 200 high school students come to campus to see demonstrations of and to try their hand at some interesting and powerful software. They see tools like Windows Robotics Studio...
  • Blog Post: New XNA Jump Start Mini-course

    Microsoft recently released a new XNA Jump Start Mini-course . P rogramming with C# and XNA 0.5: Jump Start is an exciting and engaging 4-5-week introduction to simulation and game programming using the C# language and XNA Game Studio designed for students who have fundamental programming experience...
  • Blog Post: Triangle Shooter–An XNA Windows Phone Game By Kenny Spade

    Kenny Spade is a Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist out in California who has been writing a series of blog posts that help one learn how to write a Windows Phone game using XNA. There is code, pictures, explanations of what is going on and lots of good information here. It doesn’t seem to...
  • 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: Seven Reasons to Teach Windows Phone Programming

    I had an email from Pat Yongpradit over New Year’s week end. Pat is an award winning high school computer science teacher whose students do impressive work under his guidance. Pat has been using XNA game studio in his school for some time. He uses XNA and games for Zune pocket devices in an after...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 3 January 2011

    Happy New Year! I hope your year is off to a good start. I know mine is. I’m very excited about the promise and potential of this year. Last year was  a very good one and the momentum continues. I was on vacation last week but that doesn’t mean I was off line. I guess I can’t stay away. So 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 Post December 6th 2010

    Well it is Computer Science Education week . Are you doing anything at your school for it this week? I attended three different CSTA chapter meetings in the last couple of weeks (northern New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire) and there was a lot of talk about CS Ed week at all three meetings...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 15 November 2010

    I got a new Xbox 360 with a Kinect device last week. I spent much of a day “testing” it out and some evenings playing it with my wife. Kinect Adventures can be a real workout. So can Dance Central. I wonder how long before we see Kinect devices in schools and senior centers and after school programs...
  • Blog Post: XNA and Game Development and Expression Web and Web Design Talks

    Last summer I helped present two talks at the CSTA CS & IT Symposium. In both cases I had small rolls with Pat Philips doing almost all of the talking on the talk about the Expression Web course. Steve Scanlan, an wonderful classroom teacher, did most of the talking after my introduction of game...
  • Blog Post: Welcoming Andrew Parsons to the US Academic Team

    The latest person to join the US Academic Developer Evangelist team is Andrew Parsons . Andrew is moving from the other side of the world (Australia) to work with colleges and universities around the New York City area. He’s been doing that sort of thin Down Under for several years and we’re all pretty...
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