Back to school hit home today as my wife went back to school for the first day of teachers. Kids come back the day after Labor Day so it is professional development and getting ready this week. We try and get all the summer we can up here in New England. I know that a lot of places have been back for a while already. If you are back in school I hope things are going well for you. Speaking of teachers and teaching I really liked this message that Arne Duncan@arneduncan tweeted “Some people are motivated by money or power or vanity. But teachers are uniquely driven by the desire to help others succeed.”

Politics are also in high gear and Dr. Mark Drapeau‏ aka @cheeky_geeky posted this picture of the Microsoft manned help desk set up for the Republican Party convention this week. And Microsoft also introduced an Xbox LIVE politics hub.

GOP help deskXBOX politics

Microsoft Corp. today announced “Election 2012 on Xbox LIVE,” a unique opportunity for Xbox 360 owners to watch and interact with live election coverage of the presidential debates, learn the facts about the candidates and issues from Face the Facts USA, register to vote through Rock the Vote, and participate in live daily polling from YouGov. NBCNews.com will deliver daily election programming to keep users up-to-date on the latest news and analysis about the election and the candidates. All these experiences will be featured on a brand new Election 2012 Hub on Xbox LIVE. Members will be able to fully access the first wave of content, which will focus on convention-related news, beginning Monday, Aug. 27.

Congratulations to Jennifer Chayes, director of MS Research NYC & New England for being named one of most powerful women in tech.

Trevor Packer @AP_Trevor, College Board’s head of AP, announced on twitter that there were 18 perfect AP Computer Science scores, in CA (3), NY (3), TX (3), IL (2), China (2), MA, NJ, OH, TN, & VA. No other AP exam had any perfect scores. Mind boggling isn’t it. Especially since other exam have far more test takers.

Microsoft Research@MSFTResearch picked as their Video of the Week: hear Andy van Dam, CS prof @Brown University talk about opportunities for the future of computer science. It’s about a minute long with a message that students should hear.

 Doug Peterson (@dougpete) tweeted a reminder about some  Microsoft teaching guides that are well worth knowing about for any number of teachers who cover any number of topics

.I’m posting this link to In Google’s Inner Circle, a Falling Number of Women not as a knock to Google by any means. Clearly they are working hard to address the issue of retaining women in the field. Rather I post it so that people can learn about the issues and perhaps think about more ways to deal with this problem.

The C# Yellow Book 2012 is now available from @robmiles  If you are looking for a well written and totally up to date and FREE C# textbook this is what you want.

Another look at Khan Academy and learning programming from a HS CS teacher. Most of the work on the street about the new Khan Academy computer science program has been positive. This post takes a different sort of look at it from a teacher in the trenches. Food for thought for sue.

October 11th 2012 is the first international day of the girl. This article Day of the "Tech" Girl  on the CSTA Blog talks about the need for more girls in tech.

Innovative Teachers-Share Your Genius This guest post by Eric Williams, Superintendent of the York County School Division in Virginia on VIcki Davis’ CoolCatTeacher blog is a plea for teachers to share their innovative ideas with others. This is a theme I have pushed for years but Eric says it so well.

WiredMagazine has nice review of Kodu with a nice collection of links to curriculum as well.

Under the cool tools category @TeachTec tweeted a link to 10 Fun Tools To Easily Make Your Own Infographics