Monday, November 30, 2015

Interesting Links 30 November 2015

Last week was busy on a personal level with some great family time. I even got to babysit my 14-month old grandson while everyone else when shopping. Double win. Time with the grandson and avoiding the shopping. Professionally it was quiet with only two days of school (one of which I missed with a sick day – fine now) and not much going on on the internet.

The big news for CS related education was probably the announcement of the new Raspberry Pi Zero which is already sold out. I wrote a bit of a cautionary post on that (How Much Does a $5 Computer Cost? ) last week. Sure I ordered one but I’m withholding judgment on how good it will be as an education tool.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced a new project book. I may have to get this. I have two Pis already and really need to find something useful to do with them. Especially with a third on the way. Can you say “oh, shinny object?”

Dawn DuPriest continues to knock out posts worth sharing. If she is not on your RSS list yet she should be.

Speaking of cautionary tales. Mark Guzdial had a post well worth reading called No Rich Child Left Behind, and Enriching the Rich: Why MOOCs are not improving education If you think MOOCs are the answer are you looking at the right problems?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

How Much Does a $5 Computer Cost?

This week the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced their new Pi Zero.  It only costs $5 in the US. Wow! Here are the specs, via the foundation:

  • Four fathers!?!??BCM2835 (same as Pi 1) but up-clocked to 1GHz, so 40 percent faster.
  • 512MB of RAM
  • micro-SD
  • mini-HDMI
  • micro-USB for data
  • micro-USB for power
  • unpopulated 40-pin GPIO connector (same pinout as A+/B+/2B)
  • size: 65mm x 30mm

Think of a class set of 20 for only $100. Sounds amazing. But let's hold on a minute. What else do I need? I wanted one (actually my wife wants one too but we'll share at least initially. So I went to Adafruit (the US outlet) and took a look. Raspberry Pi Zero is not available as an individual thing right now but can be bought with starter packs. They have two offerings:

I went with the budget pack. What does that include beyond the $5 computer?

Yeah I probably need all that. I also added a wi-fi dongle. With shipping I spent $50 which is still pretty inexpensive but it’s not $5. Of course I need a monitor and a keyboard and mouse to really do any development on it. I have some of them around but not everyone does.

So now we are talking about a class set of 20 for $1000 which is more than $100 but I can remember when one Apple IIe was $2,500 so pretty cool.

I don’t really see it as a replacement for a desktop or laptop though. At least not realistically. It’s still pretty limited in today’s world. What I would like to do is use it or something like it for learning about the Internet of Things. Add some sensors, some controllers of some sort, and have some of these for a Maker Space and who knows what will happen. There is potential there. I can’t wait to get mine and start playing.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Interesting Links 23 November 2015

clip_image002Microsoft Underground Part 1 – Dawn DuPriest is a middle school math and computer science teacher who was invited to Microsoft headquarters with some other teachers for a multi-day event – workshop and “underground tour”. This post is a trip report of sorts about what she saw and learned. Wish I could have been there.

Minecraft vs Project Spark vs Kodu Game Lab a teacher does a side by side look at three interesting and highly graphical tools for learning programming.

Finding the best coding language for beginners (revisited) - by Bob Irving @birv2 Bob makes a good case for Python. Bob’s a bigger fan of Raspberry PI and Minecraft than I am (at least right now) but his opinions are worth reading.

Bumblebees Are Teaching Smart Cars How to Drive – a lot we can learn from nature.

The new in-browser compiler for the BBC micro:bit is live! Seems like something new in the BBS Micro:bit world every week.

Linux kernel dev Sarah Sharp quits, citing ‘brutal’ communications style via @networkworld Interesting look (from one perspective) of communication in the open source world. Meanwhile, a Google study on what makes a team successful lists “Psychological safety” as the most important quality. Some good discussion points about how communication should work.

What students and teachers really think about computer science in schools is report by @HuffPostPol about the Google funded study that the Gallup Group prepared. To the surprise of no one actually teaching computer science a lot of people have incorrect ideas about what computer science actually is. And more.

A Call to Action for Higher Education to make AP CS Principles Work a post at the blog@CACM by Mark @guzdial Mark covers some great points. For AP CS Principles to really work there have to be college/university courses that student can get credit for after passing the AP CS exam.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Finding Methods in the Madness

Beginning programmers seem to like monolithic code. Give them a task to program and they start right off. writing everything in one huge method. If you assign them to use a specific method for a specific task they will do that. And the rest of the code will be monolithic. It seems to be hard for them to design code with small modules though. At least it seems they have to be taught to do so. It doesn’t seem to come natural.

Or maybe it’s just the teacher my students suffer with.

In any case, at this point in the semester I am really pushing breaking things down into small pieces and creating methods to handle things. We really just learned about methods in any detail in this first semester programming course so I can understand it not coming natural. On the other hand, we just went into methods in depth and usually students want to use the new thing they have just learned. But not in this case.

This morning I read though all of their code so far. Yep, lots of monolithic code. I spend the first 20 minutes or so of class discussing the different projects they are working on and explaining how I would break up some of the work into individual methods. It seemed to register a bit. I think that some of them who are having trouble debugging their code, in part, because they are trying to code and test “everything” at once, will really benefit from today’s discussion. I hope so.

Clearly though as we are moving into more complicated projects I need to spend more time talking about design. I’m looking back though my plans from earlier in the semester to see where and how I can talk design long before this point.

The other thing I would like to do is design a big project that requires lots of methods. The idea would be to randomly assign the methods to different students and have a test bed that calls the methods. Students would not know whose methods would be tested with theirs in advance. That way there could be no collusion to bypass the strict specification of inputs and outputs.

My hope is that this would show students the value of methods in larger projects. It should also help them understand the importance of design, specifications, documentation and working as part of a team. I just have to figure out the right project.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Coding For More Than an Hour

hourAman Yadav from Michigan State University made this great image from the popular meme.  I love it because for me it is so very true. I code for fun these days. Oh sure a lot of what I code is for use in class as a demo or a prototype for a project I’ll assign to students but even then I pick projects that are fun.

That means I usually code for a while once I get started. Of course for professional developers (as I was in a previous life) coding can be a many hours a day thing.

This brings me to an Hour of Code. Well not the hour itself but what comes next. I love the Hour of Code. It’s a great way to introduce students to the idea of coding, let them create something cool and maybe help them to see that they can and should learn more.

Where do these students go to learn more? Sure there are lots of online resources and even a growing number of after school programs but I think we need more courses in the regular school day. A New Federal Law Means Computer Science Is Officially Part of STEM which should help convince administrators. On the other hand there is a lot of misunderstanding about what computer science actually is. A new report funded by Google (Google-Gallup research report: Perceptions of computer science reflect and reinforce stereotypes )  finds that most parents, teachers, administrators and school boards think that using a word processor is computer science. That lowers the credibility of studies that report how many schools offer computer science!

So what to do? School boards and school administrators need some education in many cases. There are resources to help. CSTA has some advocacy tools on their website. There is a growing Computer Science Advocacy Leadership Team (CSALT) made up of CSTA members across the country who are looking for volunteers to help with advocacy in the various states. Code.Org also has resources for advocacy of computer science education. NCWIT has many resources specially focused on girls in technology.

Computer Science Education week is coming up and that is a perfect time to advocate with local influential. They’re going to be hearing a lot in the news so they are going to be thinking about it. Computer science education take more than an hour. Not just to learn but to promote.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Creative Coding Through Games and Apps

I've been looking into this lately. It looks like an interesting first course for a lot of schools.

Creative Coding Through Games and Apps is a first-semester course to introduce programming in the early secondary grades. Students learn by creating real games or apps by working in the same ways as professional programmers. Designed to attract and reach a broad range of students, including those who may have never before considered programming, this course can be successfully delivered by any teacher, regardless of computer science background, via any modern web browser on phones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. The course length is flexible (6, 9, 12, or 18 weeks) and offers online and in-class resources. The downloadable curriculum package provides everything you need to deliver the course, including teacher prep materials, lesson plans, presentations, student assignments, homework, projects, and tests. Best of all, it's free!

Try out the preview package. Point them to
There they can download the freely available Preview Package that contains a course description, teacher and student guides, and sample unit materials. They will learn more about the requirements, objectives, and learning goals in the enclosed sample lesson unit with Creative Coding Through Games and Apps.

Contests for Computer Science Students and Grants for Teachers

Earth | Microsoft Imagine Cup via @MSFTimagine An Imagine Cup coding competition for students between 6 and 18 years old from Microsoft.

Do you know students who are interested in creating an app? The Congressional App Challenge is now open for submissions! Entries are due by January 15, 2016. Learn more at


Attention innovative educators! Check out these 4 free projects & apply for grants: From Allen Distinguished Educators.

DIY Grant Application period opens on Nov 3rd and closes on Dec 4th at 11:59 PM PT.

clip_image002The purpose of the DIY Grants (up to $1000) is to help us enhance the replicability of the DIY guides as well as their adaptability to a range of school types, locations, and grade levels. Toward that end we are looking for teachers who work in school environments different from those of the ADEs who created them.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Interesting Links 17 November 2015

Yesterday’s interesting links was all about links to educators and their blogs and resources. Today is about links from non profits and companies. Good stuff all. My UK readers will want to read the BBC MicroBit news down below.

Have you seen the Hour of Code stuff involving the new Star Wars movie from  Looks pretty good as do the new inspirational videos at that page.

EngageCSEdu offers intro CS course materials to engage diverse students. provided by NCWIT. - a website for K-12 education leaders in schools and looking to build, grow, or sustain computer science programs.

Ohbot2 - A Robot Head to program from your PC by Ohbot on @Kickstarter Anyone looking at these? What do you think about the idea?

Meet the award recipients of the first Microsoft HoloLens academic research grants  - HoloLens is Microsoft’s virtual reality system. They have given some grants to universities to create some interesting projects.

Read the latest BBC Micro:Bit information from Lee Stott in Microsoft’s UK education team.

BBC Micro:bit lessons with Touch Develop a large playlist of very short videos on the BBC Micro:Bit witl links to associated lessons.

Microsoft pilot programme to expand the reach of BBC micro:bit   Microsoft is going to buy a whole lot of extra Micro:Bits so that some lucky schools will have some very enhanced opportunities with the devices.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Interesting Links 16 November 2015

Last week was loaded with interesting things flowing from blogs, twitter, Facebook and email. When I first put this post together I realized it was so long that no one would read it all.  I decided I would break it up into sections and post one a day. Seems like if I post twice in one day one of the posts gets largely ignored. Different quality or bad timing? I’m not sure. We’ll see how this goes. I decided the first post should focus on links to teachers for teachers.

First two lessons and reflections from Dawn DuPriest


Computer Science Education week for Existing Programs by Rebecca Dovi – Computer Science Education week is a lot more than just an Hour of Code. If you are looking for ideas for the week for your existing CS classes, this post may be helpful.

Computer Science - Children's Reading List Books for and about computer science broken down by grade level by Rebecca Dovi of @codeVirginia She prepared it for librarians. Maybe your school librarian should take a look?

Announcing def hacks("Winter",2015) For NYC high school coders with @zamansky

What they don't learn in college - Other People's Code – an interesting project from Mike Zamansky.

   “A Different Approach to Coding” by Mitchel Resnick from MIT Media Lab and Scratch

Programming With Blocks and Drag and Drop Programming One of my most read posts has been updated with the addition of a link to Beetle Blocks a 3d programming language.

Friday, November 13, 2015

How do you terrify computer science students?

How do you terrify computer science students? Ask them to design their own project to be graded. I asked my programming students today to come up with a project involving reading and writing files for them to create and me to grade. No one liked the idea at all. No one!  Hardly anyone liked it. (I had a couple of students tell me I lied on this post because they liked the idea.) I gave in and offered them three options. At least they can pick the one they are most interested in. And I hope not to have to grade 18 identical projects.
One student expressed the problem as the fear that they would either come up with something too hard and not finish or too easy and not get a good grade. Whoa! That never occurred to me. I just wanted to give options and let them have some fun. 
I think that generally grades drive fear more than they drive learning.
The funny thing is that about half my programming students have side projects they are working on that are completely their own design. Most of these projects are taking them beyond what I am teaching in class. More complicated and involved decision structures than I would assign (at least at this part of the semester), more use of objects, methods and concepts that I have not covered in class, and generally just more of everything. But they are doing it because they want to solve problems they are interested in solving.
I wish I could run the whole course with student selected projects. Grades are one problem there. Students are so worried about grades that it gets in the way of learning and creativity. Years of schooling the creativity out of students is another problem. From the time we start demanding they color inside the lines to years of step by step instructions and cookie cutter results we provide disincentive for creativity.
Software is, many of us believe, an inherently creative practice. We want innovation and creative solutions. We want students to think outside the box and make their work interesting. Too many students have forgotten that there is anything outside of the box though. Grades are a part of the problem.
What is the purpose of learning? I think most teachers believe that learning is worth it for its own sake. Students are being socialized to believe that the purpose of learning is to get a good grade. Learn for the test! Learn it for the SAT or AP exam or other high stakes exam.
Which of the following motivations for study do you think most students would say is the one that keeps them going?
  • Get good grades so you can get into a good college and get into a good college so you can get a good job.
  • Study to learn a lot so that you can succeed in life by using the knowledge you have gained.
My students want to learn. I think most of them want to learn for the sake of learning and gaining knowledge. But most of them place that second to getting good grades. In fact sometimes I think they separate learning from grades completely. They learn for fun and get good grades because that is THE GOAL. Is it any wonder they want us to provide lines for them to color in between?

Adding Interest Via Data

One of the lessons that stuck with my from some workshops I took some years ago was that more interesting projects involved doing things that involve a lot of data. Doing something once can often be done manually more easily than writing code to do it. Doing that same thing 10,000 times on the other hand justifies writing code. For that reason I like to assign projects with lots of data.

A couple of examples.

  • To learn about string handling I sometimes assign a project to calculate license numbers from names and birthdays. I prepared a data file of 20,000 names and birthdays for that one.
  • Today I asked students to generate such a data file using a set of files IUnited States Census Bureau obtained from the US Census Bureau. It turns out that files listing popular first names (by year no less) and popular last names are available there. Students will randomly generate name combinations and birthdays.
  • The thirdProject Gutenberg choice I gave students today was to count the occurrences of individual letters in a document. Project Gutenberg has some great data for that sort of project. Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court” has over a half a million words. Plenty of data.

There is no shortage of large data sets on the Internet these days. (take a look at Big data sets available for free sometime) Computers are great at doing interesting things with data. A little interaction with students can help to determine the sorts of information they are interested in knowing about. That helps provide motivation for them as they work on projects.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Imagine Cup Earth–Online Competition

Back in my Microsoft days I was actively promoting the Imagine Cup competitions. Realistically, while a couple of high school teams did well, its really hard for high school students to compete with students. This year there is an Imagine Cup competition just for younger students – specifically events for students 6 to 18 years of age. Imagine Cup Earth which is run with help from NASA. This one I am passing along to my own students.

Here is some of the information from the Imagine Cup Earth home page:

ic Eaarth

Imagine Cup Earth is a new contest for students ages 6-18 in which you’ll use computer programming to create a game, simulation, or story inspired by the kinds of earth science that NASA and other researchers do every day. 18 winning students will win prizes totaling $36,000! You can read the official rules here.


Do I need to know coding?

We have two skill level brackets so you can compete in the one that’s right for you:

Beginner: No coding experience necessary! You can learn to code with free online coding kits from Microsoft Imagine and make your first game, app, or science project in about half an hour using our free learn-to-code tools Kodu Game Lab, Microsoft Touch Develop, or Project Spark. After doing a couple of those coding kits, you should be ready to start thinking about your project for Imagine Cup Earth.

Intermediate: For this bracket, you’ll create a web app in the language of your choice such as HTML5/CSS/Javascript, or Python, or anything else. The only requirement is that it run in a web browser. You can either host your project on your own website or use our free-for-students Microsoft Azure cloud hosting service. Your web app will use real earth-science data provided by NASA to explore the role of chlorophyll and algae in our world’s oceans.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Beetle Blocks Visual Code for 3D Design

The other day I added a new entry to my blog post listing drag and drop programming languages. It is based on Scratch and Snap! which many teachers are already using to teach programming. Beetle Blocks adds something different – drawing in three dimensions. Not only that but one can export the results in forms usable in 3D printers.

I find this exciting for several reasons but the big one is the move from the virtual works of the screen to the physical world using 3D printers. Creating something that you can actually touch has got to excite some students. The possibilities seem virtually (no pun intended) unlimited. Plus maybe it is a justification for computer science teachers who want a 3D printer but who could not justify it before. Just saying.

Beetle Blocks is all web based (seems to work best with Chrome at least now that it is in the early stages of development) so it can be used anywhere and without software installations. It’s similarity with Scratch and Snap! should make for a lower learning curve for teachers and students already familiar with those languages.

I just started playing with it myself but I’ve told a few others who use 3D printing for other classes about it. They seem pleased with the idea of incorporating coding, along with the CAD tools many of them already use, to the mix.

Anyone else using it in class? I’d love to hear how it is being used.

Note that I learned about this from Doug Peterson’s excellent blog. Yet another example of how people sharing what they have learned about online helps others discover valuable resources and ideas.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to Teach Coding

Mitchel Resnick, the man behind Scratch and other cool educational tools, runs the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at MIT’s Media Lab. He posted a great article (co-authored with David Siegel) called A Different Approach to Coding. In the article he posted four guiding principles for introducing coding.

  • Projects: Provide children with opportunities to work on meaningful projects (not just puzzle-solving activities) so they experience the process of turning an initial idea into a creation that can be shared with others.
  • Peers: Encourage collaboration and sharing, and help children learn to build on the work of others. Coding shouldn’t be a solitary activity.
  • Passion: Allow children to work on projects connected to their interests. They’ll work longer and harder — and learn more in the process.
  • Play: Encourage children to experiment playfully — try new things, take risks, test the boundaries, learn from failures.

The whole article is well worth reading. I really like these “Four Ps” though because they resonate with me and how I like to teach. I think these is the best explanation of how I think coding should be taught I have seen.

Congressional App Challenge 2016

Do you know students who are  interested in creating an app? The Congressional App Challenge is now open for submissions! Entries are due by January 15, 2016. Learn more at

Monday, November 09, 2015

Interesting Links 7 November 2015

I spent the last few days in Phoenix Arizona at the fall board meeting of the Computer Science Teachers Association. It was a very busy couple of days and I got home late last night. Tonight and tomorrow night my school has parent teacher conferences. I actually really like parent teacher conferences but I think I’m really going to need Wednesday off. 

I did collect a lot of good links to share last week and I’m sure they are more interesting than reading about me. So let’s begin.

NSA Day of Cyber is an effort to  raise the National IQ for STEM and Cyber Science run by the US National Se3curity Agency. Yes, that NSA. It looks pretty interesting and worth you looking at.

I found this video of DigiGirlz trying out HoloLens at a developer education session  interesting. The DigiGirlz program is from Microsoft in an effort to get more girls interested in computer science and STEM. You may want to look and see if they have events in your area. HoloLens is a virtual reality device. It was fun to hear the girls reactions to and opinions of this new technology. What does VR mean for the future? A good topic for discussion.

Windows shortcut keys every educator should know – actually anyone who uses Windows should learn these. I know they save me time every day. 

Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers I’ve seen a lot of discussion about that article by Ian Bogost. It may start some conversations in your classroom as well. 

What does a CS methods class look like? Mark Guzdial shares the syllabus for a course in computer science teaching methods that he conducted. Is this how you see one running? Have better examples? 

Still No African-Americans Taking the AP Computer Science Exam in Nine States  via @educationweek The interactive charts are very useful. This is based on work by Barbara Ericson at Georgia Tech.

Do We Still Need Computer Science Teachers? That is the question I ask and try to answer on the CSTA Blog. Drop by and leave a comment of agreement or disagreement. Love to read your opinion. 

Academic Computer Science is Not University IT Eugene Wallingford lays out a problem I see at a lot of high schools as well as universities. The conflict that comes from trying to run a network for teaching and learning when that network is under the control of people in network management not education. 

Installing XNA with Visual Studio 2015 : If you have been using XNA for game development and want to continue with the latest version of Visual Studio this is a post to bookmark.

Hadi Partovi speaking at ISTE: Teach computer science to all students

All Kids Code: Are Code Academies Nonsense? A slightly controversial topic in some circles.


The Bebras Challenge; 1-hr adventure in the world of CS! Your 5-12 grade students can participate tween 11/9-11/20:


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Are there some students who can't learn how to code?

Are there some students who can't learn how to code? Mark Guzdial asks that question on his blog and says that “Teachers must always answer "No!"” There is some pushback from teachers in the comments. I think we as teachers have to act as if the answer is “No” even if we might not completely believe that is the truth.

I took on a variation of this question on this blog some time ago at Any Monkey Can Learn To Code. There garth Flint pointed out in a comment that “I could teach a monkey syntax. It takes significantly more work to teach someone what to do with it.” And I think that gets to a big part of the question – what does it mean to learn to code?

The syntax is pretty easy. Well compared to a lot of things. I think most of us would agree that anyone can learn the syntax of a programming language to answer the standard multiple choice questions the standard test companies like so much. But is that really coding? Not really. Coding is how you use that syntax to solve problems and that can be a much higher bar. That is also what some people think not everyone can learn.

If a student doesn’t learn coding whose fault is it? Teachers may need to take blame in some cases. If the majority (or significant minority) of my students do poorly on a test or project I feel I have to assume I could/should have taught the material better. If only one or two do poorly I’m more likely to assume it is the student. Students don’t always pay attention, they don’t always review the material, they are not always at their best on test day. There are lots of reasons a student might not do well. Is it because they are not capable of learning the material?

It’s a hard question. We all know students who say “I can’t learn math” or “I’m not good at languages.” Does that mean they really can’t learn it? Or does it just mean they have to work harder to learn it? I’m not sure we have research to back up either answer.

A lot of software people I have met want desperately to believe there is something extra or special about them that they can write software. The idea that not everyone can do it is appealing. And there are teachers who want to believe that they are great teachers (ok we all want to believe that) but who also want to believe that any student failure is the fault of the student. That they can't get it. It helps one sleep at night.

Ultimately though the job of the teacher is to do all they can to help the student to “get it.” You have to assume that they can get it; that learning the material is possible in order to do that job well. So maybe some students can’t learn coding. Or can’t learn it well. But we have to live as though they can. Giving up on a student prematurely is not fair to the student. So we try. And hope the student works at least as hard as we do.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Thoughts On Old Software–Why We Need Documentation

A former student sent me a links today - NASA seeks programmer fluent in 60-year-old languages to work on Voyager My first thought was that  I know FORTRAN and COBOL but its been decades since I've used them. But of course there is more to think about here.

NASA has had someone working on this software for many years. No doubt that person has a lot of knowledge of the software. Knowing the languages, FORTRAN, COBOL, and/or Assembly language, is really only part of the issue. Understanding the way the software works and why it works that way is really important to maintaining and enhancing the software over time. What is obvious to someone with years (decades) of looking at the same code is not going to be obvious to someone looking at it for the first time.

Now looking at code with fresh eyes is not completely bad. It’s good to get away from assuming that everything old is good and that change is bad. But as the old saying goes “you have to understand the rules to know when to break them.” So I do hope there is a lot of good documentation to go along with this code.

Another issue with the computers on this spaceship is that they are old. Old means very little memory, very little processor power, and serious limitations on upgrade possibilities. It is not like one can send a tech out there to upgrade the hardware. So understanding the hardware is also very important. I would assume that code has to be hand optimized to take advantage of the the hardware. This also needs to be documented.

These days we tend to think of computers as easily replaceable. To some extent they are. We also think of software as easily replaceable. In some cases that is true but in other cases upgrading both hardware and software is very difficult and expensive. One might be able to write a new phone app in a short period of time but a very complex set of enterprise software that has decades of data and modifications is not always easy to replace. Languages, such as FORTRAN and COBOL, tend to stick around because they are too expensive to replace. Poor documentation makes this situation even worse.

Documentation is not glamorous but it is still important. Something to communicate to beginners before they find out the hard way.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Interesting Links 2 November 2015

Wow! It’s November already. My school’s first quarter is done (I’ll finish updating grades today I hope), Halloween is over and so is Daylight savings time. And interesting things keep happening in computer science education. Here are a few I collected to share this week

CodeGirl, the new doc from @lesleychilcott, follows teams from around the world who dream of holding their own in the world’s fastest-growing industry.”  Watch for free today thru 11/5 thanks to @YouTube

An interesting piece called It’s time to stop programming for the teletype era  made me think  a little about TouchDevelop which is definitely not programming for the teletype era

Cybersecurity is everywhere. Is it in your K-12 CS program?  Nice post on the CSTA blog by Deborah Seehorn, CSTA Board of Directors Past Chair I’ve been asked about cybersecurity in my program by a couple of parents. I do some but really should do more. How about you?

Grant allows Wisconsin high schools computer science curriculum  -“Marquette received a $1 million three-year grant from the National Science Foundation in 2013 to promote computer science courses in Wisconsin high schools.” The plan is to double the number of students taking computer science in high school in the state.

Speaking about TouchDevelop, this post on the TD blog talks about the work that went into developing TouchDevelop for the BBC Micro:bit  -Touch Develop in 208 Bits A lot goes into something like that.

Embedded image permalink

With the new autograding and Custom Content tools on CodeHS, let autograders do the busy work for you! Learn more at I’m still not 100% sure about autograders (Autograders–for good or for evil? ) but this one may be of interest so I’m passing it along.

Welcome to Personified Systems A new blog by a friend of mine. Interested in AI, Security and computer assistants? This may be of interest to you:

What's a "trustworthy personified system"? Every day we see new systems emerging that we interact with as if they were people. We talk with them, take their advice; they read our gestures and facial expressions, help drive our cars, amuse our children and care for the aged and infirm. If they are going to integrate with our society and begin to act as if they are persons, we need them to behave as trusted members of society, not as outsiders, outliers or outlaws. How do we create that trust? That's what I hope to discuss here.