Blog Reviews – Begin Game Programming & Teaching CS to Kids

I follow a lot of blogs that have to do with computer science and education in general. It seemed to me that reviewing some of them might be helpful or at least interesting to others who are looking for blogs to follow. Today I’m going to talk about two of them Begin Game Programming and Ideas for Teaching Computer Technology to Kids. Neither is written especially for schools or teachers but are more generally for anyone who wants to learn (or teach). I have found a number of things to link to them in the past and still more that I found genuinely interesting or helpful.

Begin Game Programming is written by “professional games programmer with several years experience and numerous published titles on my CV” according to the the site’s introduction. I don’t know who the author actually is though. The posted tutorials use XNA Game studio and C# but there is information that is applicable to other languages and applications. For example a recent post is called “Working In Radians” and covers material that is required for many kinds of computer graphics. There is another recent post called “A C# view of accessors” that explains the movement from Get and Set methods to C# properties. I think this may be useful for people adapting from languages like C/C++ and Java to C# and even Visual Basic. This blog has an associated web forum as well. While there isn’t much there I can see that this is an opportunity to interact with the blog author at a greater and more detailed level. It will be interesting to see how this goes. For people interested in learning game development this blog is worth checking out.

Ideas for Teaching Computer Technology to Kids is more of a link blog than one loaded with a lot of original content. But the links are good and there is usually enough information in each post to make an educated decision about following the link before you actually do so. There is a good list of “More resources for teaching Scratch” that I think will be useful to many people. Not everyone here is for older students either.

For example a post called “Computer Terms Bingo” which is just what you’d expect. Although the game it links to is somewhat dated I’m afraid and I do wish that was noted. A post called “Excellent demonstration of sorting algorithm” links to a YouTube video of a 19-month old sorting different sized blocks. I can see that being useful in discussing sorting and how people do it. I believe that they article linked to by “Gallery: The evolution of the PC” is one of the things I have linked to from here after finding there. So this is a light weight site and not everything will be useful to everyone but the posting rate is manageable and there are often enough nuggets of good stuff that I check it regularly.

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