Friday, August 19, 2011

Ready or Not–New School Year About To Start

Well according to my Twitter feed a lot of schools in the US south are back to school. Teachers are reporting for duty and students are expected any day now. My post from 2007 called What Do You Do the First Day of Class is getting a surprising amount of traffic. Posts with programming projects (that link brings up a list of posts tagged for projects or visit my Interesting Projects–A Collection post) are also getting more than the usual amount of traffic. So I’m pretty sure that a lot of people are getting ready for the new school year. Maybe you are all ready for school. Maybe you are not. Maybe you are one of those people who just never starts preparing. But ready or not students are going to be showing up soon. Are you excited?

If you do nothing else I urge you to get excited. If you can’t actually be excited, summer is after all hard to give up, please prepare to act excited for your student’s sake. As the expression goes “fake it until you make it.” Students are going to assume that if the teacher isn’t excited about what they are teaching that they don’t need to be excited either. That can be a poor way to start off  the school year.

I’m excited about the new school year. I hope to visit more schools and talk to more students than ever before. If you are in the New England area and would like a guest speaker let me know and we’ll see what we can work out. Perhaps for Computer Science Education Week? (see a recent CSTA blog post on CS Ed Week for more ideas and the CS Ed Week website for resources.)  This can be a great week for expanding knowledge of and interest in your school’s computer science courses.

How are you fixed for software? For you labs make sure you have a subscription to MSDN AA for great professional level software from Microsoft. And make sure you sign up your school for DreamSpark. More software than even you geekest student can use all of – and for FREE! Doesn’t get much better than free. The image below only shows some of what is available.


Curriculum resources? Visit the Faculty Connection page and load up on free curriculum resources. XNA for game development? We’ve got it! And more coming. Expression Studio for web design courses? We’ve got that too! Kodu for the very young? Got it! Small Basic for middle school and high school? Got that too! In fact check out this post for Microsoft software for various college majors Just in time for back to school and much of it useful in high school as well as college.

There are a lot of resources out there and a lot of them are free. Take advantage of as many as you need or can use. Let’s get students excited! Have a great school year everyone!

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