It’s early August and while many teachers will not be returning to their classrooms for a couple of weeks many are already back. I’m in Texas as I write this and here teachers already back in many districts with students showing up next week. I know that many of you are really busy taking a break from school and also from things like email and blog reading. So you may not have been keeping up with my posts. I’m ok with that – really I am. But while I’d love to think you’ll spend some of your limited time catching up with all my back posts I know that is not likely to happen. And again I’m find with that. I understand. So what I have done below is summarize the ten posts from June and July that had the most traffic – the most interest – in hopes that you’ll at least take a look at some of them.
- Visual Programming Languages – Kodu, Scratch, Alice, App Inventor and more. Are they helpful? Can we make them more general purpose?
- Over-Educated, Yet Under-Qualified? – Is education and qualification as closely tied as we’d all like to think they are? Can students get jobs and do them well right out of school? Some good comments here as well.
- Critical Thinking – It’s important and we all agree on that. I think anyway. But are we teaching it and teaching it well? Join in the discussion.
- How many types of Programmers are there? – Are there only a couple of fairly narrow goals for programmers or are things more complex? The post talks about three types and asks “are there more?”
- Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Certifications – Learn about these new entry level certification exams and materials and decide if they fit the goals of your school. If you are at a career/technical school it is highly likely that they do.
- Advice for an Imagine Cup team – Pat Yongpradit is an award winning computer science teacher (Pat Yongpradit Selected to participate in the 2010 Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Education Forum in South Africa!) who mentored a high school team that made it to the US finals of the game division of the Imagine Cup. In this guest post he gives some useful advice for teachers mentoring groups of students who would like to compete this year.
- A Show About Computer Programming – Some interesting comments on this post already. It asks the question “what would a TV show about computer programmers look like?”
- Multiple Paths into Computer Science – Start in high school or college? Skip college and learn on your own? Four year college or community college? What are the paths into computer science careers today?
- Microsoft Research Illuminates Mars in 3-D With WorldWide Telescope – Lots of interest in the World Wide Telescope Mars data set. A great way for students and adults to learn about the Red Planet and for teachers to help build interest in the skies.
- A Rose is a Rose – How important is selecting the right names in a program? Does it make a difference in understanding, debugging, or later review of code? There are some code examples to discuss and some discussion in the comments already. Join in.
I also recommend that you look at some of the Monday morning interesting links posts. There are always a gem or two in them for most readers.