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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer September 2006 Entries
A good organization to belong to is ACM Why?
ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) is the world's oldest and largest educational and scientific computing society. Since 1947 ACM has provided a vital forum for the exchange of information, ideas, and discoveries. Today, ACM serves a membership of computing professionals and students in more than 100 countries in all areas of industry, academia, and government. I have been a member of this association for several years now and have met colleagues at the annual conference sponsored by SIGCSE ......

Posted On Thursday, September 28, 2006 6:42 AM

Getting ready for XNA Programming
I have posted a new page on my website at The page is called XNA Development for students. On the page will be assignments that my students will be working on along with links to terrific XNA sites. I'm optimitic that my students can continue their learning in the AP class and juggle learning XNA as well. Maybe I'm too much of an optimist? I'll be blogging later.

Posted On Wednesday, September 27, 2006 9:31 AM

High school students review of 6 Coding4Fun designs
This was a good assignment to do for my web design students. They have been learning how to create web pages with html and how to use dreamweaver to create pages and manage sites. In addition, they were trained on good design vs bad design. As mentioned in my last blog, this assignment was to review the 6 designs on Dan's blog and then review them as to what you liked about them and what you didn't. So here's what some of my students had to say about the designs: For the Coding4Fun website redesign, ......

Posted On Monday, September 25, 2006 6:15 AM

Great student assignment to vote on a new web design look
There's a fun contest going on at Dan Fernandez's Blog and he's looking for input on the design of the new Coding4Fun website. He is looking for feedback on the new design of Coding4Fun. There are 6 designs that you can choose and give him feedback on. I plan on having my students do this for an assignment. Not sure if Dan wants views from high school students but it would be a good exercise for them to do. I'll post the results next week ......

Posted On Friday, September 22, 2006 7:05 AM

Getting ready for Windows Vista in Education
What is it about new things that aren’t out yet and you want to talk about them anyways? I’ve been thinking about the new features in Vista and how students can use them. I’ve also been thinking about school’s technology departments and how they will like or dislike Vista. Students will like the new interface. Who wouldn’t? They will also like the photo gallery to keep their pictures organized. It’s amazing how many pictures teenagers take! Many already use Flickr ......

Posted On Thursday, September 21, 2006 11:46 AM

FREE XNA Book by Mike Fleischauer
FREE XNA Book by Mike Fleischauer Another good resource is They have some video tutorials to review along with a book that Mike Fleischauer is writing and posting chapters on the site that he’s written along with code samples as well. The book is an easy read with less than twenty pages each chapter. The first chapter reviews the basics of XNA and is a good introduction to using Visual C# Express. Chapter 2 reviews graphics and sprites. He does an excellent job reviewing transparent ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 19, 2006 9:32 AM

All in favor of high school programming contests say "I"
There are several high school programming contest in the state of Florida that my students can participate in. There is one in November sponsored by the ACM student chapter of Stetson University in Deland, FL. Stetson is a small private school located north of Orlando, FL and they will be celebrating their tenth year of sponsoring the contest. Kudos to the students and faculty who put in the time to sponsor these types of events because the high school students really like going. For those of you ......

Posted On Monday, September 18, 2006 1:08 PM

Learn Internet Game Programming with Java
In my search to learn more about XNA programming, I came across a good site on game programming with JAVA. Now you might be asking what does XNA programming have to do with JAVA programming. Right? Well, what's nice about this site is that you can learn more about game design and learn about the basics of graphics as well. The section on the basics of sound was very good. The site is worth taking a look at if you're interested in learning about game programming ......

Posted On Thursday, September 14, 2006 2:09 PM

Using the new Microsoft XNA Framework to teach programming to high school students.
Let me start by saying that I'm always a sucker to new techniques, platforms, and ideas to teach my students about programming. I'm also trying to increase my enrollment as well. I have used web programming for a couple of years including web services. I introduced them to game programming using Gamemaker and Blitz Basic several years ago and now this new XNA framework is available to use in the class. I have downloaded the framework and just started to look at the code which is in C#. A good start ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:42 AM

Another teacher uses dotnetnuke
I came across computer science teacher at Ranchview High School Chris McNally's website that he created using dotnetnuke. On it, he has information about his courses, a blog, daily assignments, downloads and much more.Kudos to Chris for using dotnetnuke which is a free opensource web portal that you can download at You can find Ranchview's site at Over the summer, I completed some curriculum in dotnetnuke which other teachers could use with their students. Drop ......

Posted On Monday, September 4, 2006 10:45 AM

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