Tag Archives: Really Cool New Stuff

Cheap Computers

Once these computers come online and you can actually buy one, I am getting a Raspberry PI for 25 bucks.  It appears that there are 100,000 or so back orders in the queue ( that is British for line ) so we may all be waiting for a good while to get one.  The 35.00 model has a few more features like a network connection, but either one would be fun to have in a Comp Sci class.  My students all thought this was awesome and they all want to buy one and think that everyone else needs to buy one as well.  Happy Hunting!

CS Ed Week Pledge

Take a minute to read the following message and then go out and pledge your support for CS Ed Week!


We are wrapping up the third annual Computer Science Education Week (December 4-10), but there’s still time to pledge your principled support for CSEdWeek (no $ required). It takes less than a minute to do so: www.csedweek.org/forms/sign/pledge-step1
Why does it matter? It’s crucial that policy makers and the general public see there is grass-roots support for computer science education. Your pledge helps us demonstrate that support.

If you’re participating in some activity in support of CSEdWeek’s mission, please take the second step in pledging and tell us about it. It doesn’t even have to happen during the week; you can pledge anything you’re doing any time to promote computing or support computer science education.

And, if you only have five minutes to do something in support, here are some ideas on how you can turn those five minutes into support for K-12 computer science education: www.csedweek.org/m/c/zzhcw54r/bkpcjhhm/j2qxjfzt

Thanks in advance for your pledge … it’s important for our future.

Algorithm Speeds Up MRI


This is kind of stuff that students need to read and learn about if they are at all interested in Computer Science.
How does Comp Sci make the world a better place?
How can learning Comp Sci skills change the world?
These are important questions and this article helps shed light on the answers.
The article also provides lots of context for how Comp Sci skills are used in the real world.

NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing!

Calling all digital divas, web chix, and coder girls!

NCWIT seeks high-school-level young women to apply for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing! The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women active and interested in computing and encourages them to pursue their passion for technology. Winners get cool prizes, gadgets, and scholarships, and can join a community of like-minded technical women. National award-winners are selected from across the country and Affiliate Award competitions are available in more than 30 regions nationwide.  All girls at all computing levels are encouraged to apply—we’d like to recognize aspirations, not just accomplishments!

National award-winners receive:

  • $500 in cash
  • A laptop computer
  • An engraved award (for both the student and her school)
  • An expenses-paid trip to the national Award ceremony (for the student and her parent/guardian) on March 10, 2012

Affiliate Award will vary by state.  Visit www.ncwit.org/award for details on Affiliate competitions.

Competition for the 2012 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is open to any U.S. high-school-level female (grades 9-12). Applications will be accepted beginning September 15, 2011, and must be submitted online at www.ncwit.org/award no later than 11:59 PM ET on October 31, 2011.  Winners will be announced December 9, 2011.

Teaching Kids to Hack

Teaching Kids to Hack

This is a great article ( it is not about hacking into banks ) and just shows that there are lots of kids interested in Computer Science if you find creative ways to grab their attention.  It also helps to start talking to them when they are young and more open-minded.

One of the best quotes in the article says “computer science is the entry point to all science. It starts kids on the path of science, technology, math, the whole thing. It becomes cool.”

I will gladly send all three of my sons to conferences like this.  I want my boys to learn how to crank code and hack stuff as soon as possible.  😉

MIT Picks Up App Inventor

App Inventor Picked Up By MIT

Google handed off App Inventor to MIT.  This is a fitting football metaphor with Fantasy Football season about to kick off.  If you do not play FF, you should!  Anyway, App Inventor is a cool platform and it is great that MIT will continue to build on its success and keep the football rolling or tumbling or whatever a football does when you kick it.  With Scratch and App Inventor in hand, MIT will now be managing two of the most popular visual programming environments.

US Dominates World RoboCup 2011

US Dominates at the 2011 World RoboCup

This is way more interesting than robots can sense emotion.
Kicking a ball and running around on a soccer field is way cool.
Well, they do not actually run, but kinda stagger and limp around.
Either way, it is pretty neat to see robots attempt to play soccer.
In a few short years, they will actually be able to run and play for real – just watch and see!
Check out the video of Adult size final!

Emotion Detecting Robots

Project Creating Robots that can Detect Emotion

Just what I need!
All I want is a robot that will pick up after my kids – that is it.
I am no way in need of one that knows when I am happy or mad – I would like to keep that info to myself.
Let’s stick the basics here and get a Roomba that actually works in stores and leave the emotional stuff out of the equation.
Just my 2 cents – for the emotional robots, I am not mad in any way, but I am a bit agitated.  🙂