May, 2012

  • The Great Transition: Windows XP to Windows 8

    In just under two years, the venerable Windows XP operating system will reach end of support on April 8, 2014. What should schools do to get ready for what’s next? For over ten years, schools and universities around the world have been using Windows XP as the core operating system for the business of learning. [...] Related Stores: Journey to the next release of Windows Top 7 Windows 7 Enterprise Capabilities The Next-Generation of Windows is Here!!
  • Bridging the ‘’Opportunity Gap’’ – Technology, Teaching and Training are trying to help

    There is a strange thing happening in the world at the moment. In many countries youth unemployment is at levels rarely seen before, and yet employers are saying that there is a talent mismatch, and they cannot find workers skilled for the jobs they have...
  • Shouldn’t Computer Labs Be Cool Places?

    Back in the day when I went to a college with A computer room with A computer it was cool enough that there was a computer there and that it was available to students. Today that’s not the case – having a computer (or bunch of them) does not automatically make for a cool place.  For many students computer labs are down right boring. Some of the requests I get are for posters to decorate a computer lab. Unfortunately I don’t often have any posters and when I do have them they tend to be more geeky than interesting. It occurs to me that maybe we decorate computer labs wrong though. I think that...
  • There Is Only So Much You Can Cover

    I’d fallen a bit behind in my blog reading lately. Over the long weekend I tried to catch up some and came across a post by Leigh Ann DeLyser called Lets just blame the Intro CS… That post was a response in part to an article about the struggle to plug the embedded programming gap . It seems as though people want to blame the first programing course for all the ills in the field of computer science. At times it feels like people want everything covered in a first course. As Leigh Ann suggests we in the computer science field really need some conversations about what the purpose of the first course...
  • Student Implemented SharePoint Solutions

    I hear a lot of questions about SharePoint. Things like what can I do with it? How hard is it to use? That question usually is code for “do I need to hire a high priced professional to use it?” And occasionally can I fit it into the curriculum? Well there is a great webcast coming up that answers all of these questions and more. At the Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High School in Florida students are doing really great things using SharePoint. Things that help the school out on a daily basis. Read more about this webcast below. Real World K-12 Student Solutions using SharePoint 2010...
  • Students Impact Change in Times of Crisis

    When a hurricane strikes, thousands of people unite with a common goal to provide disaster relief. When a local treasure is facing devastation, a community is mobilized to find a solution. Among them are the brightest budding minds of our future—students...
  • US Forum Educators Make STEM Engaging – Part 2 of 2

    Penn High School students use gamification to solve real-world STEM challenges. Annually, Microsoft hosts America’s innovative educators at its Microsoft Partners in Learning US Forum. The US Forum is an opportunity for educators to showcase and exchange their best practices in teaching and learning. This competition and collaboration of educators provides a celebration of teachers [...] No related posts.
  • 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 1.5 Released post. A video introduction to v1.5 is live on Channel 9 as well But a few highlights: Seated Skeletal Tracking is now available. This tracks a 10-joint head/shoulders/arms skeleton, ignoring the leg and hip joints. A set of Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) to guide developers on best...
  • Please Don’t Learn To Code

    I am a late convert to the idea of computer science education for everyone. Or pretty close to everyone. A lot of people still don’t see it as valuable for more than a few people with some sort of natural predisposition for programming. I think there are many reasons for this. One is that they equate computer science with programming. And that’s not quite right. Second is that they see the only reason to learn computer science is to do it professionally. Inspired by Jeff Atwood’s Please Don’t Learn to Code I did a search on Bing for “don’t learn to code.” Bing came back with 224,000,000 hits. That...
  • Upgrade from Live@edu to Office 365 for education

    Some of you may have heard about Office 365 for education – if not go and read up ! One of the most common questions I get asked by existing customers is: how do I upgrade from Live@edu to Office 365 for education? Well the great news is that we’ve launched...
  • 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 as an excuse. Oh they may say it differently but that is what they often mean. In computer science education all too often people believe that because they learned computer science some way that everyone should learn it that way. It’s not as bad as it used to be but at times I wonder if people are...
  • 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 of things but common enough. It seems to be even more common with education though. Recently on the CSTA blog Pat Philips wrote a post titled Video Games where she says “ administrators and colleagues […] sometimes think that if you are teaching something that much fun, it can't be truly educational...
  • What I Learned @LAUSD Family Summit 2012: Estoy Aprendiendo Español

    On May 5, 2012, I joined with my Microsoft colleagues to support Los Angeles Unified School District for their Family Summit 2012.  This was amazing day to share about careers, entrepreneurship, and college. In the end, I walked away with some lessons learned for me. The LAUSD Family Summit 2012 was held at the University of [...] Related Stores: Celebrate National Robotics Week Apr 7-15, 2012
  • How do they know they are interested?

    Or more importantly how do students know that they are NOT interested in computer science? As I mentioned recently I had a conversation with Mike Zamansky from New York’s Stuyvesant High School about his program there. One of the key pieces of that program is a required computer science course for sophomores. As Mike explained to me programs that are completely elective tend to attract mostly students who already know (or think they know) that they are interested in computer science. Generally that seems to be the case most places. Oh sure teachers in other schools tell me that their first computer...
  • New online safety features coming in Windows 8

    It’s a fact of life that students increasingly are looking to the Web to consume information about their world, connect with friends, to gather information and research for school work and more. As students' digital appetite continues to grow, parents...
  • More than 4.5 million Catholic School Students to Receive Microsoft Office 365 for Education

    Sharing my blog post from The Official Microsoft Blog ... Today, the Catholic International Education Office (OIEC) took an exciting step toward delivering a brighter future for Catholic students around the world, demonstrating there is no greater...
  • Interesting Links 21 May 2012

    I spent Friday visiting with high school Computer Science teachers at the St Joseph's College (Long Island NY) programming competition. This is always a good time for me. Every year I have some good conversations. Some with teachers I see there year after year and some with teachers I am meeting for the first time. This year I got the chance to meet with Michael Zamansky who heads the computer science program at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. (His blog is at C'est la Z BTW) Stuyvesant is one of the top high schools in the country and the arch rival of Brooklyn Tech where I went to high...
  • The Next Big Thing in Learning!

    What is the story behind the statement that there is no “next big thing”?  EdTech Magazine recently quoted Cameron Evans saying, “The reality is that there is no “next big thing”…The next big shift will be all of these things taken together.” First, you will have to read the original EdTech [...] Related Stores: Can Reality Television Transform E-Learning? Peek Inside How Microsoft Unified Communications Bridges Learning For Our Students
  • US Forum Educators Make STEM Engaging – Part 1 of 2

    West Allegheny High School teacher and students set the national high bar for innovative learning through STEM in Imperial, PA. Annually, Microsoft hosts America’s innovative educators at its Microsoft Partners in Learning US Forum. The US Forum is an opportunity for educators to showcase and exchange their best practices in teaching and learning. This competition and collaboration of [...] Related Stores: Frank Machos Teaches Cameron Evans about Music, Marketing, and Consumerism Kids Improve Reading and STEM Skills with Microsoft Kodu Kinecting with Innovative Educator Johnny Kissko...
  • Interesting Links 29 May 2012

    Links are a day late because of the Memorial Day holiday. A day of remembrance. I spent a little time with my father, a combat veteran of World War II which was great. Over all a good weekend with a lot done around the house, a little time of recreation and some time to remember those who died fighting for my country. Porting apps to Windows 8 Metro – a great collection of resources for those of you looking to start creating apps for Windows 8. Didn’t participate in Imagine Cup 2012? Don’t let the opportunity to compete in 2013 pass you by! Sign up now Well have your students sign up. And maybe...
  • What should the High School CS curriculum look like?

    I get asked questions like this a lot “ can you share how you would construct a 3 year programming sequence, preceded by IC-3 type course, and culminating in AP JAVA. What would be your first two CS courses?” You’d think I’d have a great answer on the tip of my tongue by now. But I don’t. There are lots of reasons for this but they boil down to “the answer depends.” What do you mean by computer science? Probably you don’t mean applications because while they are really important (in my opinion) they are general knowledge skills not computer science. Do you include web development? And if you do...
  • Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

    Received this from the CSTA Mailing list yesterday and thought it worth sharing. Do you know someone who is doing an outstanding job of mentoring or a mentoring program that is doing a great job with bringing underrepresented minorities into STEM fields? If so you may want to nominate them for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring . INVITATION FOR NOMINATIONS Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring PAESMEM recognizes outstanding mentors and mentoring programs that enhance the participation of individuals...
  • Higher Innovation Made The Dean’s List!

    EDTECH Magazine selects Higher Innovation as one of the Top 50 Must-Read Blogs in Higher Education. EdTech’s Must-Read Higher Ed IT Blogs This was a complete surprise! I am delighted that Higher Innovation has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Must Read Blogs in Higher Education by [...] Related Stores: The Fifth Year of Higher Innovation Facebook Connect with Higher Innovation Going Higher In Academic Year 2010
  • Interesting Links 14 May 2012

    A late blog post on a Monday is a sure sign I had a busy weekend. Not work this time – Mother’s Day and a bunch of other things with family and work around the house. I hope your weekend was as good as mine was. Here now some links that I collected to share. Andrew Parsons ‏ @ MrAndyPuppy has put all of the Imagine Cup Game Design Semi-finalist videos in one place  Xbox/Windows :  Phone Games Share innovative project ideas & collaborate w/ colleagues @ Microsoft’s Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum   Tomorrow April 15th is the last day to apply. Don’t miss out! T. Andriopoulos...
  • Customer Story: Achieving consistent SSO with AD FS 2.0 and Office 365 for education

    AD FS 2.0 offers institutions who are deploying Office 365 for education a really rich and effective way to provide a single sign-on experience to users. With just one set of credentials teachers and pupils can access the full range of resources that...