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What are you doing this summer?

The school year is ending soon. For some it is over. AP CS teachers are happy the AP exam is over and many of them are looking forward to the AP CS reading. Others are shaking their heads at the very idea of people being happy to attend an event where they will spend hours on end grading student work. For the most part all teachers are thinking about their summer break. There will be some real rest and recreation for some. Second or third jobs for others. And many are looking forward to professional development.

For me this summer means two big professional development events – ISTE and the Annual CSTA Conference (www.cstaconference.org). I expect to learn a lot at each of those events. I love formal PD events. Over the years I have learned and grown from many of them. They’re wonderful. But they are not my end all and be all. Informal learning is also important and useful.

One of the wonderful things about teaching computer science is the plethora of new programming languages and development tools. OK it does make it hard to keep up at times and we cannot and should not just adopt new things for the sake of adopting new things. On the other hand we have many opportunities to learn new things and bring new interests to our students.

Have you got a coding project you've thought would be interesting to use as a demo or assign to students? Or perhaps some new way of doing things that might get students interested? Perhaps mobile phone development or touch computing or maybe using a Kinect for user interfaces? Or web development/programming? Think about using a new tool or programming language to take something on over the summer. Just like for students, working on projects is a great way to learn something new.  Just be sure to choose a project that will be fun, interesting or solve a real problem you have so that you have lots of motivation to work at it.

Whatever you do to relax, rest, and recover from the school year try and learn something new as well. You and your students will both be better for it.

Alfred Thompson
At-large member
CSTA Board


I'm going to try to write a textbook (see http://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/zeroth-draft-of-book-done/ ).

I don't plan to do much programming this summer—maybe porting a few example programs from one microcontroller to another, maybe some digital filtering utility scripts for students to use.

Its the best time do to something in this summer, so just go to CCTC

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