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  • Blog Post: Pex4fun, an online lab for APCS

    Are you teaching Advanced Placement Computer Science? Are you looking for supplemental exercises that may help you students with the concepts? If so this announcement may be of interest to you. Pex for Fun has been around for a while offering coding duels in C#, F# and Visual Basic. Recently though it...
  • Blog Post: dream.build.play reminder

    The dream.build.play challenge is still wide open for people looking to take their Windows Phone or Xbox 360 game to the next level and win some big prizes. Create a Game & Bring Your Ideas to Life It’s time for the Dream.Build.Play Challenge! Open to anyone over age 14, the playing field now includes...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone Development Training Online

    SO you probably know that a new version of the Windows Phone software is coming very soon. If you are planning on teaching phone development you may also be thinking “I wonder how I can get some training on this?” Well you are in luck. Online training is coming! “Mango” Jump Start! Aug. 23-24! Pass it...
  • Blog Post: Using Kinect for Windows with XNA Curriculum

    I mentioned Rob Miles new Using Kinect for Windows with XNA curriculum in Monday’s Interesting Links post . I was a bit afraid that the announcement might get “lost” there so wanted to highlight these materials in a post all on it’s own. I know a lot of people are thinking about using Kinect at the end...
  • Blog Post: Computer Programming at South Dakota Gear Up

    South Dakota Gear UP is an outstanding program run at the South Dakota Schools of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. This year a programming mini course was added to the mix for the group of rising freshmen who make up the newest cohort of this four ...read more
  • Blog Post: Online Coding Exercises For Programming Education

    Well it is that time of year again – back to school. On the SIGCSE mailing list are a couple of reminders about online exercise tools for a variety of programming langauges.. A few old timers and at least one big new name. I thought it would be worthwhile to list a few of what I know about. The big new...
  • Blog Post: A Post BASIC World?

    What does is mean to be in a post BASIC world? This is the question that comes to mine when I read about an article titled How are students learning programming in a post-Basic world? I think that for most of the people in the discussion it means that ...read more
  • Blog Post: Readability in Programming Languages

    I saw a side by side comparison of a bunch of scripting languages online recently. Scripting Languages: PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby My first, and second reaction was yuck! Now I have my biases – biases which may  not be shared by others of course. But I like readable code and for me anytime I see a...
  • Blog Post: When Fish Fly

    How excited am I about the Partners in Learning Global Forum ? I’m seriously thinking of taking vacation days and paying my own way to Washington DC to see if I can “crash” it. I had a great time and learned a lot judging the US event ( Innovative Education Forum–Judging Day ) this summer. I met some...
  • Blog Post: Computer Controversies For Fun and Discussion

    I love a good discussion. Pros and cons and honest and hopefully friendly discussion of issue with different opinions make for good learning experiences. One of the things I would like to do should I ever get a full-time advanced computer science course is to ask students to study some controversial...
  • Blog Post: Time To Cut The Cake

    I ran across a couple of cool Lego links yesterday. One of was this link to Robots for Everyone: Getting Kids Interested in Programming with Legos which talks about how educators are using Lego Mindstorms and other kits to get students interested in STEM fields and especially programming. Lego is a pretty...
  • Blog Post: It Doesn’t Pay To Be Too Clever

    Recently someone posted the following question and bit of code to the Advanced Placement Computer Science teacher mailing list: Assuming that all values are ints that have been properly initialized, which two of the following three lines of code are equivalent? //choice A result1 -...
  • Blog Post: Trend to Follow: Women in Computer Science

    We are all familiar with success stories of men who code, but where are the women? As of now, female developers are few and far between in technology, and unfortunately it’s getting worse: Women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but hold just 25% of the jobs in technical or computing fields...
  • Blog Post: Programming for Absolute Beginners from Channel 9

    Channel 9 has just launched an absolute beginner series to help people learn to program. There are two versions of the Development for Absolute beginners materials – one for Visual Basic and one for C# Well worth checking out. Visual Basic Development for Absolute Beginners C# Development for Absolute...
  • Blog Post: Magic Numbers Are Bad

    I had my friend Clint Rutkas review some code of mine. Now I have been writing code longer than Clint has been alive but he’s a very smart guy and he writes more production code than I do these days. He;s written a lot of the Channel 9 projects. He’s famous for his Kinect driven lounge chair for example...
  • Blog Post: Imagine Cup Champs Talk Strategy, Tips, and Career Planning

    Developers sometimes feel that when it comes to their career they have a choice to make: build solutions for the greater good or focus on bringing home the bacon. We don’t think you have to choose one or the other, and we tracked down last year’s Imagine Cup winners to prove our point for...
  • Blog Post: Getting Ready For Windows 8

    Like almost everyone at Microsoft I have been hard at work getting ready for Windows 8. I’ve got the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the Visual Studio Express Beta for Windows 8 of course. Trying out the Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been fun as I get used to the new interface. Of course as a developer...
  • Blog Post: Recursion First

    I’ve long had mixed feelings about recursion . (I’ve written about recursion several times in this blog.) In one post, Recursion Early, Recursion Late , I wrote about the suggestion that recursion be dropped from a first programming or computer science course. In another post I asked if it should be...
  • Blog Post: Useful Download Links for Windows 8 and Windows Phone Development

    Part of my job is to help people find valuable resources. I especially like it when they are free. Free is good. These links are for students, faculty and professional (or non professional) developer.  Please check these links out, visit the websites, find what looks interesting and download the...
  • Blog Post: Home Grown Computer Camp

    Michael Scherotter who works for Microsoft decided to run a computer programming day camp in his home for his 9 year old son and 9 of his friends. Taking  on teaching programming to 10-year olds may not be for everyone but from the sound of Michael ...read more
  • Blog Post: One Compile A Day

    A recent blog post by Ian Bogost ( The Virtues of Long Compiles ) has me thinking once again about the trouble with fast compiles. How would you program differently if you could only compile your project once an hour or perhaps once a day? Actually its more complicated than that. What would you do between...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone Mango Jump Start Workshop Now On Video

    IF you missed it live (like I did) you can now view the recording of the Windows Phone Mango Jump Start training on Channel 9. I borrowed these direct links from the official announcement . Microsoft MVPs Rob Miles and Andy Wigley are back! The "Building Applications for Windows Phone "Mango"...
  • Blog Post: Tic Tac Toe for Windows Phone

    Introduction We are going to create a simple Tic Tac Toe game for Windows Phone. We’ll be using Visual Studio as our development environment and C# for our programming language. All the resources you need are listed below and all are free.   Resources: VISUAL STUDIO 2010 EXPRESS FOR WINDOWS PHONE...
  • Blog Post: Abstraction At The Core of Computer Science

    I spent the latter part of last week in Palo Alto, California working on the CS 2013 project . There are some pretty amazing people involved in this project ( CS 2013 steering committee ) and I learned a lot in the various discussions we had around computer science curriculum. Since we are talking about...
  • Blog Post: Collection of Kinect in Education Links

    Thanks to Johnny Kissko ( 9 Excellent Programming Resources for Kinect ) I recently discovered Ray Chambers who is “currently teaching ICT at Lodge Park Technology College in Corby Northamptonshire.” in England  who has been doing a lot with Kinect. Check out some of his more recent blog posts....