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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer March 2007 Entries
2nd Better Golf Through Technology Conference
If you are a golfer, did you know that out of 85 golfers only 15% could accurately aim at a hole from six feet away. Now I don't feel so bad when I'm out on the links trying to guess will it go this way or that way. I caught this interesting read from the Boston Globe today. A hundred golf pros, gadget makers, golfers, and scientists filed into MIT's Wong Auditorium yesterday for the second annual Better Golf Through Technology conference. While the university hosts a multitude of lectures and conferences ......

Posted On Friday, March 30, 2007 12:27 PM

Ready to GRAVA?
At the MVP summit, I learned about Grava. This new educational product from Microsoft is both an authoring and developer tool. Here's an example of what I mean: If you've been in the education market for long you can see that this application looks like an application created with Hyperstudio. What's different about Grava is that the product has its own SDK built on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and provides a programming model and tools for building rich educational experiences. I learned ......

Posted On Thursday, March 29, 2007 10:23 AM

AP Teachers & Students Exam Preparation Resources
Right now, all of our classes are finishing up with teaching the AP computer science course and all of the requirements given in the AP JAVA subset. If you are looking for review material, here is a list that I've found to be valuable to my students. Review books: The one that I have used for 11 years now has been the book by Skylight Publishing called Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science Exam in JAVA. The book is written by Maria Litving along with Roger Frank, Judith Hromcik, Dave Wittry and ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 9:12 AM

Kudos for a successful Orlando CodeCamp
On Saturday, there were close to 500 people at the Orlando Code Camp. The local INETA group did an outstanding job organizing this event. This group volunteers countless hours to make sure local developers get a first class experience of learning. The registration went smooth and directions around Seminole Community College got everyone to where they should go. Carl Franklin gave an amusing keynote about his background and there were several great speakers during the day. I had the opportunity to ......

Posted On Sunday, March 25, 2007 6:55 PM

Making kids happy across the globe with technology
Today, I'll blog about Multipoint which was demonstrated at the Emerging Technologies session at the MVP Summit. As everyone knows, students love to use technology. Notice the keyword everyone! However, not all schools in different countries can afford to have a computer for every child so they have to share. As a classroom teacher, I remember the days of sharing pc's and I was like a traffic cop getting kids equal time on the computer. I did my best to make sure each student was able to use the ......

Posted On Friday, March 23, 2007 7:26 AM

Almost 500 geeks coming to the Orlando Code Camp
Hats off to Shawn Weisfeld and his crew for organizing what seams to be a great upcoming code camp this Saturday at Seminole Community College in Sanford, FL. Shawn is a Microsoft MVP and INETA leader and I saw him in passing last week in Seattle at the MVP Summit. He was chanting code camp, code camp in the halls! To date, there are 478 coming to a great event. There will be 52 Sessions, 38 speakers including 16 MVPs and 9 Authors. Where else can you get that kind of education for free. Here's the ......

Posted On Thursday, March 22, 2007 11:58 AM

Emerging Technologies in Education- Things I can talk about from the MVP Summit
I got permission from the speaker at the MVP Summit last week to blog about some of the things that I learned last week at the Microsoft MVP summit. The session that I attended was on emerging technologies in education and they talked about three products. The products covered were multipoint, steady state and grava. Today, I'll write about steady state which is also called shared computer toolkit. Computer teachers in computer labs, libarians who manage computers and school IT department will like ......

Posted On Thursday, March 22, 2007 8:53 AM

This is when learning takes place!
Yesterday in my web design class I overheard my only female grade 9 student tell her classmates that she was able to help out her older brothers myspace web page by remembering what she learned in html and applying that knowledge by fixing his page. She was very proud of herself when telling this story. Needless to say, her teacher was very proud of her too.

Posted On Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:18 AM

AP Computer Science Course
Alfred Thompson, a former high school computer science teacher and now a Microsoft employee, blogged today on taking a look at AP Computer Science. Quite timely I thought even after I posed this question last week to Microsoft boss Bill Gates, "Is computer science education dead". Quite timely indeed even after I said something to my Associate Director here at school on Friday about how frustrated I am teaching AP Computer Science and that when our school hires another Computer Science Teacher next ......

Posted On Monday, March 19, 2007 9:32 AM

Calling all high school computer science teachers... Survey Time
The Computer Science Teachers Association is once again asking you for your input. Across the U.S. there are growing concerns about computer science in high schools. While there are many anecdotal reports about dropping enrollments and state-level teaching certification battles, there is a critical lack of solid information. For this reason, we are asking you to take a few minutes to participate in our national high school CS survey http://csta.acm.org/Research/sub/CSTAResearch-2.html

Posted On Thursday, March 15, 2007 11:45 AM

How to ask a billionaire a question....
At the Microsoft MVP summit today, Bill Gates gave the keynote to 1800 MVP award recipients from all over the world. Before the session, many people were already in line. My thoughts were to eat breakfast fast and then get in line to get a good seat. In line it was a great experience for me to be able to be with people from all over the world. In front of me were a group from Brazil and they have a great sense of humor even though I had no clue what they were speaking in Portugese. To my right side ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 13, 2007 6:25 PM

Getting ready to travel to the NorthWest
This weekend, I'll be travelling to Seattle to attend the MVP Summit which will be held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in downtown Seattle. The summit is an enormous event and there will be close to 2000 professionals from all over the world in attendance. This will be the 2nd summit that I am privileged to attend. I was unable to attend the last summit because I was at another meeting held at Microsoft campus and I couldn't be out of school for that length of time. The keynote ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 6, 2007 12:15 PM

Microsoft Prize of $10,000 to Promote Xbox Games FYI
By SETH SCHIESEL Reaching out to millions of aspiring game developers around the world, Microsoft plans today to announce a contest that will award $10,000 and the opportunity to entice millions of eyeballs to the next great digital diversion for the company’s Xbox 360. In addition to the game console’s snazzy graphics, the Xbox Live online service has been the most important component of the Xbox 360’s success since its debut in 2005. And perhaps the most popular aspect of Xbox Live has been the ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 6, 2007 9:37 AM

Teaching ASP.NET Dotnetnuke
I have a new group of web design students that I'll be teaching dotnetnuke to. The first thing we'll do today is to install dotnetnuke. The latest starter kit version 4.4.1 from dotnetnuke.com has eliminated some of the steps that it use to take to use this open source portal software. The previous version required you to physically attach the database to the project using Visual Web Developer. That step has been completely eliminated and a straight install will give you a portal right away. You ......

Posted On Monday, March 5, 2007 9:33 AM

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