When it rains it pours! I spent last week at FETC in Florida but kept a weather eye out for interesting things to pass on via Twitter (follow me on Twitter @AlfredTwo) and this blog. There sure was a lot going on. This is a larger post that usual which I guess is a good thing. Read though and I’m sure you will find something that is interesting and/or useful to you. Really! Oh and before I forget, a personal highlight of the week for me was being added to the CACM blog roll. I’m thrilled to be included on that list which you will really want to check out.
And speaking of games the US Imagine Cup twitter account @imaginecupus sent out this interesting link Microsoft Reveals the Science Behind Project Natal for Xbox 360. Some interesting technology going on here.
Mouse Mischief is a tool that Microsoft makes available free of charge, and that allows teachers to work with Microsoft Office PowerPoint to make interactive presentations. With Mouse Mischief, teachers can add multiple choice questions to their presentations, and large groups of students can answer the questions using mice connected to the teacher’s PC.
Matt MacLaurin (@mmaclaurin) Twittered a link to the Kodu program in Victoria, Australia: 26 schools, 1000 kids, 500 Xbox controllers There is a lot of Kodu goodness at http://planetkodu.com. He also sent out a link to an outstanding Kodu walkthrough (Xbox version) from joystiq: http://www.joystiq.com/2009/07/02/video-tour-kodu-microsofts-diy-game-builder/
From @MS_Student a link to How to Quickly Create a Movie Using Windows Live Movie Maker's AutoMovie feature. Are you or your students making movies? Want to? Check out the video. The software is free as are other tools that are part of Windows Live Essentials.
The FIRST Robotics season is in full swing. I see from @weemooseus that MIT and FIRST Ally To Encourage STEM Education Careers. This is a good thing. I watched as interest in STEM fields soared at the high school I was teaching at after FIRST Robotics took hold. A great program in my opinion.
Are you up to a contest for equipment for your school? From @unklar I learned that the CDWG -Discovery wireless classroom contest now open
Think about how The 21st Century Classroom - interactive whiteboard, notebook computers, wireless cart, projector and document camera - could extend your teaching power.
ENTER NOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF THREE GRAND PRIZE PACKAGES including a 21st Century Classroom and a $5000 digital media grant from Discovery Education. Plus, over 20 additional technology prizes!
On the women in computing front from @cuwise I saw that the call for participation open for Grace Hopper 2010. From the Grace Hopper people (@ghc) There is the Indiana Celebration of Women in Computing (InWIC) February 5-6, 2010, Spencer, Indiana
And Ada Lovelace Day is coming on March 24th: An international day of blogging to raise awareness of the achievements of women in technology and science.
A co-worker sent me a link to an article titled - IT hiring increases last month despite broader jobs decline Is your school preparing students for these jobs? And DARPA feels that the geek shortage is a national security risk. Wow!
On a related note, Mark Guzdial asks about The disconnect between the Geek shortage and the Geek layoffs. Every time we read a story like the one I linked to above we hear lots of stories about IT professionals who are laid off and can’t find jobs. What’s that about? Some discussion at Mark’s blog in the comments.
Microsoft opened a new Technology Academics Policy web site http://www.techpolicy.com/ as a forum for academics on the impact of technological innovation in many areas. Well worth checking out.
Lastly, my personal congratulations to the MIT Scratch team as Scratch won a KAPi award at CES in the category of informal learning.