It’s the end of the year for a lot of us. Not the calendar year of course but the school year or the fiscal year. I’ve been working on my input for my year end review a lot this week. And doing some preparation for NECC (I’ll be there from Friday of this week on – hope to see some of you there.) and other things for the next fiscal and school year. Not much time for blogging, Twittering or especially for relaxing. Still I did run into some interesting links to share with you all. BTW if you run into things you think I or the people who read my blog would be interested in please let me know. Send me email at AlfredTh (at) Microsoft.com, use the contact link on this web site or Twitter to me @AlfredTwo.
Have you seen the new version of Deep Zoom Composer? The team has added a bunch of new features that people have been asking for for a while. This might be the thing for some interesting graphic design projects.
With Deep Zoom Composer, you can take a collection of images of various resolutions (including large, high-resolution images) and arrange them into a composition. You can then export or publish the composition as either a single high-resolution image or a set of individual images with different resolutions. Once you export or publish your composition, you can use a standard broadband connection to quickly display and navigate a large, detailed image or a panorama of images that might otherwise be extremely slow to view.
Hilary Pike found this fun historical video of a new broadcast introducing the Internet. It includes an interview with a young Bill Gates – check out his glasses. 🙂
The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) has a new document on Computer Science For Grades K-8? With Curriculum Resources!
Joe Stagner AKA the MisfitGeek has a new Podcast called Episode #2 – Does VB have a future? If you’ve ever had doubts about the future of Visual Basic this is the interview to go listen to. Speaking of Visual Basic, Anders who was the driving force behind C# is also working on VB these days. Check out "Future Directions for Visual Basic" by Anders Hejlsberg and Jonathan Aneja Also the Visual Basic blog has an article about Implicit Line Continuation which explains how VB 2010 will do away with the need to explicitly specify some line continuations.
Speaking of NECC! If you are headed there you may be interested in getting some information about Microsoft’s presence at NECC. Well other than me. 🙂 Stop by the booth and listen to some presentations and learn about what Microsoft is doing with education.
Interested in robotics? The Microsoft Robotics team is Twittering @MSRobotics. last week they announced that Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R2 has been released. See the new Microsoft Robotics web site.
Do you talk to students about coding standards? Personally I think that is something students should be exposed to early. From @pbarone and @zainnab I learned about these Free C# and VB Coding Standards Reference Documents.
Products from Microsoft keep coming out supporting more (natural) languages. Last week it was announced that Small Basic V0.5 is Now Available in English, French and Spanish. A lot of teachers are already using this tool for beginning programming courses. Maybe it is something you will want to check out as well?
Looking at 1:1 computing initiatives? Or perhaps you are thinking about bringing white boards into the 21st century? From @Microsoft_EDU I found this link from @chronicle to an article called Why a Tablet PC Beats Your Whiteboard which links to the real list – 11 Reasons Why a Tablet PC is Better. Take a look.
Looks like the beta version of Alice 3 in available now. This is the version with avatars from The Sims.
Last but far from least, Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity at a TED talk that I stumbled upon last week. It makes for interesting listening. What are you doing in your teaching to promote creativity?