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Congressional App Challenge 2018
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Congressional App Challenge 2018

One of my students won for her district last year. She found it a very valuable experience. I highly support this challenge. Share it with high school students...

Reflections on Programming and Teaching
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Reflections on Programming and Teaching

Mark Guzdial has an interesting post called Reflections of a CS Professor and an End-User Programmer in which he compares end-user programming and professional...

School Year is Over, Time to Get Ready for Next Year
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

School Year is Over, Time to Get Ready for Next Year

It is teacher wrap up day at Bishop Guertin. The warning bell for homeroom just rang but of course the students were done on Friday so there are no students coming...

Thoughts on Textbooks in Progress
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Thoughts on Textbooks in Progress

My first published book, Microsoft Visual Basic FUNdamentals, came out 18 years ago. It was for Visual Basic version 6 and what I did was to take what and how I...

Computer Science Teacher as Unicorn
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Computer Science Teacher as Unicorn

The t-shirt image here showed up on my Facebook feed the other day.  My first thought was “Yes, computer teachers are the coolest.” Of course I know a lot of teachers...

Looking Back At APCS Principles–My First Year
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Looking Back At APCS Principles–My First Year

During a conversation with my dean, he said it takes about three years to really get teaching an Advanced Placement course down pat. I don't know if that is the...

Programming Projects–The good, the bad, and the ugly
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Programming Projects–The good, the bad, and the ugly

End of the semester project time for me. All of my programming students have been finishing up[ their self-selected projects and I have been grading. It’s always...

Micro:Bits and Teaching Networking
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Micro:Bits and Teaching Networking

This year i taught advanced Placement Computer Science Principles with a mix of high school juniors and seniors. Because of the schedule I had the juniors for several...

Assumptions, Misunderstandings, and Programming Decisions
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Assumptions, Misunderstandings, and Programming Decisions

My beginning students have big problems with writing decision statements. Boolean expressions are a real problem. Most of the time it is because they expect the...

Can We Get there (#CSforAll) From Here?
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Can We Get there (#CSforAll) From Here?

When I was in high school (I graduated in 1971 so this was a while ago) there was a computer in the building. If you got an A in Calculous as a junior you could...

Why Don’t Universities Require Computer Science?
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Why Don’t Universities Require Computer Science?

We talk a lot about requiring computer science as a high school graduation requirement. It is an issue that is not without controversy. (Should Palo Alto students...

Teaching Through Stories
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Teaching Through Stories

This time of year I think a lot about how I teach. There is something about the end of the year and evaluating how much my students have (or have not) learned that...

Teaching the History of Computing
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Teaching the History of Computing

History is important. We’ve all heard, if not quoted, the adage that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Mark Guzdial has a blog post...

Can I Plan For Next Year Yet?
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Can I Plan For Next Year Yet?

My school has a couple of weeks left but it’s getting close. My Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles students have taken their AP exam. My own exam for...

Does It Matter What Programming Languages We Teach in High School
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Does It Matter What Programming Languages We Teach in High School

I’m tempted to just leave this post blank and see what sort of comments it gets. But I am incapable of that. Sorry. Assuming we are preparing high school students...

Academically rigorous is incomplete without computer science
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Academically rigorous is incomplete without computer science

Mark Guzdial linked to this post on his blog - Feeling disadvantaged in CS courses at University of XXX – Original post at Minimal exposureInteresting line from...

Programming is easy. Debugging is hard.
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Programming is easy. Debugging is hard.

I may be in a minority in this but in some ways the most fun part of my job is debugging student code. Students are very clever at wring code that doesn’t workMy...

Visual Studio Live Share–Something CS Teachers Can Use?
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Visual Studio Live Share–Something CS Teachers Can Use?

Microsoft is having their big MS Build event this week. I don’t have time to watch it live but I have been seeing hints of things via social media. Most of what...

My Code is the Same as Yours But Mine Doesn’t Work
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

My Code is the Same as Yours But Mine Doesn’t Work

We're all heard it from students "My code is the same as yours but mine doesn't work." The implication is clear – it is the computer's fault that the program...

Are You In On the Social Media Conversation around CS Education?
From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Are You In On the Social Media Conversation around CS Education?

Today is the absolute deadline for my students in Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles to upload their Create Performance Task to the Digital Portfolio...
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