Sunday, June 19, 2011

Interesting Links 20 June 2011

This time next week I will be in Philadelphia for ISTE. I’m pretty excited about it. Some really great things going on there. Plus I get to see a lot of people face to face. many of these people I have met in person before but many of them I will be meeting face to face for the first time after interacting with them through this blog, through Twitter, and through email. The face to face meetings are the best! If you will be at ISTE I hope you will look me up either at the Microsoft booth or one of the sessions I am attending. I will be at a number of the SIGCT promoted events and several bigger Microsoft events. I’ll have a full “what is Microsoft doing at ISTE” with an emphasis on what I’m up to (hey it is my blog Smile) tomorrow but if you want a jump start visit the Microsoft at ISTE page now. And now for some more links.

Myra Deister, CS and math teacher and member of the CSTA Board of Directors, asks how to you set your Priorities for making sure everything gets done. She notes that teaching computer science takes more time than teaching math. Is that the same for everyone I wonder?

clip_image001Challenge, discovery, insight, surprise: Rader & Grzeda AP Students accepted ‘missions’ in InterroBang that had an impact in the community and once completed, each ‘deed’ was given points correlating into the grading process.

In case you missed it, Microsoft released the beta of a supported software development kit for the Kinect Sensor device for use with Windows. (I wrote about it here) Earlier when the news that this SDK was first coming one of the demos what a drivable lounge chair that was controlled by hand motions and a Kinect. Last week those nice people at @coding4fun released information about how to do it yourself  -  Jellybean, the Kinect Drivable Lounge Chair Do you have a robotics or engineering program as well as a programming course? This may be the cross curriculum idea or at least the germ of a whole bunch of new ideas.

In computer history news,  IBM turned 100 last week. Yes, the former Calculating Tabulating and Recording company has been around since long before computers. 

Lastly, the Microsoft Feed web site (on twitter @Microsoft_Feed) did an email interview with me and posted it at  Meet Alfred Thompson. IT came out pretty well if I do say so myself.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Share Kodu Cup Winners Announced

Today the Unlimited Potential team announced the winners of the inaugural US Kodu Cup competition.

Today we are announcing the winners of the first U.S. Kodu Cup. It’s a competition that challenged kids across the United States (from the age of 9 to 17) to use Kodu – a free game development tool from Microsoft – to create their own video game for the chance to win great prizes and the chance to attend the Imagine Cup World finals in New York City in July.


Kodu was created by FUSE labs in Microsoft Research to help children learn how to use computers while developing useful skills such as problem solving, creative thinking and planning in a fun, engaging and creative way. Kodu is proving to be a great took for fostering children’s interest in exploring a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


There were some surprises in the entries – namely that students found things to do and ways to use the tool that the people who created it had never thought about. And of course there was amazing creativity and a lot of hard work in evidence. That makes the results even more exciting to me. I love the themes of the winning entries as well. The entry by Hannah Wyman 10 years old, from Massachusetts, had a theme around saving the environment by planting trees and getting soot out of the air. A very creative game for sure. You can see her video below but visit the Unlimited Potential blog post to see more of them.

More information on Kodu and STEM education


Saturday, June 04, 2011

Imagine Cup Game Design Competitors 2011

Andrew Parsons has been working hard to highlight the top teams in this year’s worldwide Imagine Cup. He has a series of blog posts which I highly recommend.

The first one is a set of three articles highlighting the finalists for the three tracks of Game Design. These are the fifteen teams from all over the world heading to New York City in July to compete head to head. Definitely worth checking these out:

Meet the finalists – XNA –
Meet the finalists – Mobile –
Meet the finalists – Web –

The second set is a series of ten articles that showcases all competitor entries from the final online round of Game Design. There are more than 100 games shown in this series from dozens of countries and it’s a great resource to show off the variety of game genres, styles, and themes.

Part 1 - (_dreamBender – BJTU_YF703)
Part 2 - (Bliizz – CodeOne)
Part 3 - (CrashGames – EnvoSeven1)
Part 4 - (exporithm – Geekologic)
Part 5 - (GimmeGimmes – INFOSTROY)
Part 6 - (Ingesub Game Lab Team Rocket – Luskanya)
Part 7 - (Milworms – Pyro)
Part 8 - (Quegee Team – SDEG)
Part 9 - (Signum Fidei – Team Nucleus)
Part 10 - (Team Rubic – WickedTeam)