December, 2011

  • Talking about technology access on Rainmakers.TV

    Back in September, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting (see blog post here ) where Microsoft made a new commitment to help bring digital access to one million low-income families in the United States...
  • CS Bits & Bytes From the National Science Foundation

    Another good lead from the CSTA today, the national Science Foundation is starting a new bi-weekly newsletter called CS Bits & Bytes aimed at high school students and teachers. From the home page ( emphasis mine) The National Science Foundation, in support of Computer Science Education Week 2011 (CS Ed Week), is proud to announce its rollout of CS Bytes, a one-page, biweekly resource that will spotlight what's new, wow, and now in computer science. Aimed at high school educators and students , each CS Bytes issue will be filled with highlights of innovative computer science research , and links...
  • Study Up!

    Written by Megan Benjamin Ah, the sweet smell of stress is in the air! Finals are coming up. You know it; we know it, but you needn’t worry! Here are five tips to keep you sane while you bang out those papers, study your heart out, and ace those final exams! 1.) Start early. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you don’t have enough time to learn the material you need to learn, read the pages you need to read, or memorize the formulas you should’ve known in October. We won’t fault you for not staying on top of everything all semester long (a kid’s gotta...
  • Celebrate Computer Science Education Week 2011

    From Avatar to Zynga, Computer Science is an integral part of our lives in leisure, learning, and labor. This week, Higher Innovation focuses on every aspect of CS Education in the modern world...find out more after the break. Related posts: MYSCIENCE. The Consumerization of Science [updated] PowerPoint Inspires a High School Student to Computer Science Thank you, Mommy ...read more
  • Interesting Links 5 December 2011

    Happy Computer Science Education Week ! Hope you are doing something fun and interesting to encourage students to study computer science this week. And maybe encouraging more schools to offer computer science education. I have some links to resources for that in this post. First a confession. Normally I take my time and put this post together on a Sunday night but this weekend I was away for a family wedding and didn’t get a chance to work on it. So I am actually writing this at what is a little early for me. Hopefully I’ll still get it right. Though it may be a bit shorter than usual. First a...
  • Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 is now available!!

      The long wait is over just for the holiday season. You can download the service pack here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=28190   · General information: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2011/05/17/announcing...
  • Would you have a live TV broadcast from your classroom?

    Ok, maybe yes, but how about if this was scheduled first thing Monday morning following a long Thanksgiving Break? Well, as they say, that’s how they roll at High Tech High. Last week I had a fun opportunity to visit High Tech High School in San Diego...
  • Bentley’s CIS Sandbox

    Last week I accepted an invitation from Professor Mark Frydenberg of Bentley University to attend the open house for their new CIS Learning and Technology Sandbox. I’d been invited before but once I posted about perfect computer labs last week it seemed like this was an invitation I should really accept. So I took a drive down to Waltham and the beautiful Bentley campus. I’m glad I did as the CIS Sandbox is a very nice facility. It comes equipped with the latest hardware and software as you’d expect. There is an Xbox and a Kinect and there are systems running Windows 8 Developer...
  • Higher Innovation Podcast – "Computer Science Education Week"

    Computer Science Education Week is here. Discover the programs, tools of the trade, and opportunities for Computer Science today from Microsoft. Related posts: Higher Innovation Podcast – "rebirth of hip" ...read more
  • Live@edu Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I? Part of my day job is answering customer questions about all aspects of Live@edu – it’s not surprising that there are a number of frequently asked questions that seem to come up week after week. When I started working at here one of the first...
  • Could You Pass the AP Computer Science Exam?

    There is an article in the Washington Post about a school board member who took a standardized test for 10th grade students. To say he didn’t do well would be an understatement. This got me to wondering – how would professional developers do if they took the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam? I remember the first time I looked at one. At the time I was most recently a professional developer with about 18 years of experience and a masters in Computer Science. I confess that I would not have enjoyed taking it “cold.” Now since then I have taught the APCS curriculum...
  • Computer Science Students, Get Ready for the Windows Store

    Computer Science Education Week is a great time to begin learning about Windows 8 and the new Windows Store for apps. Get started building the next hot app today. Related posts: Developer Jobs for America with Windows 8 Peeking Into Windows 8 [updated] Visual Studio 2010 Built On Windows Presentation Foundation ...read more
  • Computer Science Education Blog Roll

    I’m a firm believer that blogs are a great way for teachers to share ideas and builds community. Supporting that sort of community is why I have many blogs listed on the side of this blog’s home page. But that format is limited. It doesn’t give much information beyond a name and a link. I wanted to do a little more. Also blog roles are not weighted as heavily in search engine optimization as links in blog posts are. So it occurred to me that I should create a blog role blog post. I will be adding a link to this post permanently among the “important posts” list on the home page. Also I plan to add...
  • Why I’m Still Excited about Computer Science

    It’s computer science education week and that has me thinking about what I’d like to tell students about computer science. So I decided to record something on the subject. The short version is that 38 years after the life changing experience that writing my first computer program was I am more excited about computer science than I was then. And that is saying something. This is my first experience trying to do a video cast but since a lot of students don’t read this seemed like a good time and a good topic to try it out. I hope you like it. Some links that I talk about for reference: http://www...
  • CSEdWeek: Beginner’s Resource Guide for App Developers

    Computer science students have almost limitless opportunities when building with Microsoft developer tools. For Computer Science Education Week, I have attempted to bring all of those tools and resources to Higher Innovation. Start building your app today! Related posts: Thank you, Mommy Visual Studio 2010 Built On Windows Presentation Foundation Incorporating Windows Phone into STEM Curriculum ...read more
  • Interesting Links 12 December 2012

    Last week I posted a list of some of the great computer science related blogs I read on a regular basis ( Computer Science Education Blog Roll ) Week after week these people share ideas and thoughts and tools that really make a difference in the world. This week, as usually, I list some of the best posts from those very special people. But first Andrew Parsons reminds me that Just One More Week To Enter The Rock Paper Azure Fall Sweepstakes! This is an opportunity for programming hotshots to learn a little about writing applications for the cloud and have a go at writing some artificial intelligence...
  • Year Up Visits the MTC

    Last Friday the Microsoft Technology Center in Waltham MA was please to again host a group from Year Up Rhode Island. I again gave a career talk. Unlike last time ( NUI Whoops ) I didn’t get fancy and try to use a Kinect to show off. During the lunch break the students did try out a Kinect and Xbox 360. The young man in the center of the picture below moved much better than I ever could. I talk about Kinect during my career talks these days because I firmly believe that we are right at the beginning of how it and devices like it will change how we interact with computers and through...
  • MICROSOFT TECH STUDENT KINECT SWEEPSTAKES- OFFICIAL RULES

    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES: These are the official rules that govern how the Microsoft Tech Student Kinect sweepstakes promotion will operate. This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Sweepstakes” throughout the rest of these rules. In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of the Sweepstakes. “You” refers to an eligible Sweepstakes entrant. WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES? This Sweepstakes starts at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) on December...
  • Creating Engineers One Student At A Time

    Last weekend I visited the Maine State Championship for FIRST Lego League which is run by a group of volunteers in an organization called Maine Robotics . They had about 500 students (grades 3 to 8) who were part of 62 teams competing to win some interesting trophies. There was quite a lot of excitement throughout the day. I’ve been to FLL events before and every time I go I am impressed with the results students are demonstrating. I watched several matches and was impressed with the focus students had. The event consists of several parts including a presentation to judges of student...
  • 18 of the world's most innovative teaching projects

    As I’ve said before, the highlight of my year is attending the Partners in Learning Innovative Educator Forums around the world. This year's worldwide finals event in Washington, D.C. was no exception. It's an amazing opportunity to talk, to witness...
  • Office 365 becomes first and only major cloud service to meet the rigors of U.S. HIPAA requirements

    Concerns over security and privacy are common barriers holding some education institutions back from moving to cloud computing. Microsoft has been making deep investments in security, privacy and compliance in our products to help our customers move to...
  • Pick The Software First

    Last week an email passed though my inbox that said something like “ my district is buying the latest shiny new computing gadget. What software should I get to teach computer science on it?” OK now I am a software guy and biased towards software but this question seems all wrong to me. I’ve always believed that first you figure out what software you need to solve your problem (or teach your course) and then you find the operating system and hardware that software runs on. As I Tweeted last night “ Asking what software should I buy for my computer is like asking what kind...
  • First Do No Harm

    I came across a great quote by Pablo Picasso the other day “ All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up .” When I tweeted this someone replied that students were also scientists. A good point. Kids are naturally curious. They want to know about the world and the way things  work – science! They want to tell stories, to draw pictures, to make music (well happy sounds anyway) and to dance. Too often we teach that out of them. The other day I spoke to a group of students in a gifted and talented program in New Haven Connecticut.  The youngest kids were...
  • American Teacher: Philadelphia Screening at a Futurist School

    American Teacher is a documentary that chronicles the stories of four teachers living and working in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. Narrated by Matt Damon, the teacher’s stories are told through a mixture of footage and interviews...
  • Rethinking Innovation in Education

    I had the pleasure of attending the Worldwide Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), held in Doha, Qatar recently. This is the third year Microsoft has participated in the summit and it continues to be a very valuable K-20 conversation around the state...