Rob Caron

Developer-related topics and other stuff.

Are You Smarter than a Sixth Grader?

Are You Smarter than a Sixth Grader?

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In the US, middle school starts with Grade 6. How would seeing stuff like this when you were about 12 years old have influenced your decision to pursue software development as an occupation? I think back on the first computer course I took in the early 80s and remember learning BASIC with an Ohio Systems (?) minicomputer with dumb terminals and 8" floppies. This would've been cooler:

Microsoft Visual Studio Middle School Power Toy 1.0 is a software package particularly designed by Microsoft to help middle school students learn computer programming. It consists of the following five components:

  • Visual Sort Designer Control is a supplementary teaching tool developed for middle school students to learn the basic concept, algorithm and implementation of the computer sorting. It supports bubble sorting and insertion sorting. It generates initial value automatically and demonstrates intermediate state of the sorting process, and can also generate sorting source code for both Visual Basic and C#.
  • Visual Search Designer Control is an assistant teaching tool developed for middle school students to learn the basic concept, algorithm and implementation of the data structure search. It supports binary search and sequential search. It generates initial value automatically and demonstrates intermediate state of the searching process, and can also generate source code for both Visual Basic and C#.
  • Visual Variable Declarative Designer is an intuitive variable declaration designer designed for middle school students. During the design process, not only do the students can declare various generic types of variables, but also generate the source code at the same time. Visual Variable Declarative Designer allows variables to be declared in a visual design method. Teachers in IT fields can use it as a good educational tool to make students understand the basic concepts of the variables declaration easily, such as variable name, access modifier, variable type, initial value and so on.
  • Assistant Class Designer is a visual class designer designed for middle school students. During the design process, students can see the processes of adding classes, properties, methods and events. These processes generate the source code at the same time, and the corresponding modification can be reflected into the source code immediately. By using this class designer and code generator, teachers or students can easily create and configure complicated classes. Assistant Class Designer provides intuitive, interactive class design method, not only does it become an excellent teaching assistant to teachers in the IT fields, but also helps students to better understand the object-oriented concept, create classes and object-oriented applications. It supports many important concepts in object-oriented programming, such as class, encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism.
  • Visual Programming Flow Chart is a supplementary teaching tool developed to help middle school students to learn program control flow. It can generate flow chart of functions, and save it as JPG picture format. It can be easily ran from the integrated development environment (IDE) by simply putting mouse cursor in the function where the flow chart needs to be generated, and choosing the command. After that, you will get the flow chart of the source code, and you can also customize colors and other effects. This visual demonstration allows students to have an intuitive feeling about the flow of the source code, make them have clearer programming ideas and easily find the logical errors in the source code.

Download details: Middle School Power Toy

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