Friday, December 17, 2010

Microsoft bliink…a web design competition for high school students

I’ve talked about Bliink in the past. (See bliink) Over the last couple of years Microsoft has run this web development competition in schools across the county. It’s been limited to individual states, state-wide organizations, or large school districts so far. This year we are going wider – national (US) in scope. My friend Gautam is running the program and blogged about it at his web site - Microsoft bliink…a web design competition for high school students

The goal of the Microsoft bliink contest is to build the student interest in technology and increasing the STEM pursuits in education and careers in the US. high school students with a positive experience with being creative with technology are more likely to pursue STEM studies and careers.  We make this possible by providing high school students with the software tools, training and experiences through the Microsoft bliink contest.

Microsoft bliink contest 2011 will launch January 5th, 2011, with the registration window being open until February 28th, 2011. Website submissions (using Expression Studio software) are due March 1st, 2011 for fabulous prizes of XBox360 consoles, the new Kinect and XBox360 games. Any US high school student between 13 and 19 years of age is eligible to register and submit their websites to the  Microsoft bliink 2011 contest, participating in teams of 2 – 4 students.

So visit Gautam’s blog for the full scoop and if you know students who are ready to show off what they know tell them to keep an eye out for the official January 5th 2011 launch.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Interesting Links Post December 6th 2010

csedweeklogoWell it is Computer Science Education week. Are you doing anything at your school for it this week? I attended three different CSTA chapter meetings in the last couple of weeks (northern New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire) and there was a lot of talk about CS Ed week at all three meetings. Check out the CSEdWeek web page to see what is going on around the country. And now a few other interesting links.

The XNA Game Studio team announced Dream.Build.Play for 2011. While students should absolutely be entering the game division of the Imagine Cup Dream Build Play is open to everyone including people who develop software for a living. So you pros out there looking to make a name for yourself in game development this is the one for you.

Are you ready to compete? Dream.Build.Play is a competition where you can create and submit your XNA Game Studio 4.0 game for Xbox 360 to win prizes, including the chance to have your game featured on Xbox LIVE Arcade. Registration will open in late February 2011.

Speaking of the Imagine Cup, Andrew Parsons, recently relocated to New York City from Australian, makes the case Why [students] should make a game for Imagine Cup 2011 

A thought provoking post on the CSTA blog Maybe Course Proliferation Is a Bad Idea? Could we possibly have too many computer science courses? Types of courses that is – not too many courses in too many schools. Check out the post and leave your thoughts over there.

Did you know that Microsoft has been ranked as one of the top corporate citizens. One of the reasons I am proud to work here. A lot of people seem surprised by this which tells me that Microsoft is not the company some people think they are. The article makes for an interesting read.

Are you using Visual Basic and thinking that the C# people are having all the fun with Smart Phone programming? Well, good news, Visual Basic Windows Phone 7 Developer tools is now available!