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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer Teaching AP CS
Message to Parents
If you are concerned about your child's future employment, then check out this information: Computer Jobs Hit Record High CIO Insight (07/07/08) Chabrow, Eric U.S. information technology employment is approaching an all-time high as nearly 4 million workers are now employed in IT-related jobs, according to a CIO Insight analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The IT unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point last quarter to reach 2.3 percent, but it is still near historic ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 9, 2008 4:29 PM

Technology night 08
Tech night 08 was a great success last night in the Lakefront room at LHPS. There were close to 50 students and parents in attendance to listen to Andrea Barr from Apple who talked about Podcasting. Etan Horowitz from the Orlando Sentinel talked about Tech Tips for students. Richard Connor from Laptop Plus dove into pc security and finally Dan Waters from Microsoft talked about the tablet pc and Onenote software. Lots of information in two hours time. Thanks to Microsoft for the donation of an XBOX ......

Posted On Friday, January 25, 2008 7:52 AM

High School Programming Contests
I have a team of 3 of my AP students who will be travelling to Stetson University in Deland, FL to compete at their annual programming competition. In past years, I've always had a team go and I really enjoy visiting the campus at Stetson. My oldest daughter, Erin, graduated from Stetson and it is a great school. The ACM students run the competition and the faculty are judges. Several years ago, our school placed third in the competition which was nice. Believe it or not, it really doesn't matter ......

Posted On Friday, November 17, 2006 12:24 PM

USA TODAY reports that Computer server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. said Monday that it had begun to make its Java technology an open-source software project available for free on the Internet. The announcement represents one of the largest additions of computer code to the open-source community — and it marks a major shift for a company that had once fiercely protected the source code used in 3.8 billion cellphones, supercomputers, medical devices and other gadgets. I wonder if other ......

Posted On Monday, November 13, 2006 12:09 PM

Have you heard of JING?
According to TechSmith, JING is a project and not a product. Whatever they want to call it, JING is an excellent communication tool where you can capture a screen, add your voice and voila you have yourself a movie file to share with anyone. In education, this is great. For example, I can use this on any of my powerpoint slides or software demos that I use in class and put them on my website for students to view as a review. What's even better is that you save on 200 MB of space provided to you by ......

Posted On Thursday, January 24, 2008 3:39 PM

Great resource for AP Computer Science Teachers
Debbie Carter who teaches AP Computer Science at Lancaster Day School in Lancaster, PA has put together an excellent resource book for AP Computer Science Teachers. You can get the book at I've worked with Debbie as a member of the now defunct Microsoft Faculty Advisory Board and presently as a Board Member for the Computer Science Teachers Association. The book contains information that will help both a beginner teacher and veteran teachers as well. It has five chapters ......

Posted On Saturday, July 14, 2007 10:35 AM

Working with moodle
For the past three months, I've been working with an open source course online management system called moodle. Moodle is free and has many features such as: Forums Content managing (resources) Quizzes with different kinds of questions Blogs Wikis Database activities Surveys Chat Glossaries Peer assessment Multi-language support (over 60 languages are supported for the interface Moodle has gained in popularity amongst educators and the statistics have proven that with a user base of 18,204 registered ......

Posted On Thursday, April 19, 2007 1:48 PM

So, what is Alice anyways?
Alice is a modern programming environment designed to be a student's first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn basic computer science while creating animated movies, simple video games, where students control the behavior of 3D objects and characters in a virtual world. Although computer programming has existed in its modern form for half a century, it still eludes all but a small fraction of society. While programming is an inherently difficult activity, there are ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 17, 2007 6:03 PM

What to teach after the AP Computer Science Exam?
There is always some time left after the AP exam to teach our students more before we leave them for the summer. In Florida, we have a couple of weeks to learn more and if you’re from different parts of the country you may have even more time to teach students something new. I am really sold on having students learn about creating games so that’s what I’ll be doing with my students. There are several options available for you to do with your students and several languages to use as well. If you want ......

Posted On Thursday, April 12, 2007 7:34 AM

Ready to GRAVA?
At the MVP summit, I learned about Grava. This new educational product from Microsoft is both an authoring and developer tool. Here's an example of what I mean: If you've been in the education market for long you can see that this application looks like an application created with Hyperstudio. What's different about Grava is that the product has its own SDK built on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and provides a programming model and tools for building rich educational experiences. I learned ......

Posted On Thursday, March 29, 2007 10:23 AM

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