## Writing and Sharing Code

Thanks, mint.com.

It’s an infographic that claims to show how a credit card number can be validated.  I don’t know if the algorithm explained is true in all cases but it was interesting.

It’s kind of interesting when you have people reference your resources.  It’s an indication that someone is actually reading the resources and blogs that I’m creating.  So, it was with a smile that I read a message from Alfred Thompson (@alfredtwo) on Twitter) asking if I remembered the infographic about credit cards verification.  A quick search and I was able to send him the link.

I also sent Alfred a smart aleck comment to the effect "I smell a Computer Science problem here".  Alfred, if you don’t know, is the K-12 Computer Science Academic Relations Manager for Microsoft.  Within minutes, he got back to me indicating that that was exactly what he was up to.

As I look at the algorithm, it is indeed something that’s easily handled in secondary school Computer Science.  You need to ask the user to enter a credit card – it sure can’t be an integer with its 16 digits – then rip it apart digit by digit – do a little mathematical calculation – and then finally validate the check digit to make sure that the number was valid.

I had to go out and do something right after the exchange with Alfred and when I got home, I thought "What the heck – I’ll whip up the code to solve this".  In my Computer Science teachable qualification course at the university, we’ve talked about how teachers should solve all of the problems that they give to students so that they know, in advance, the challenges that students will have.  We had also talked about choice of languages and one of the ones that we had played around with (and enjoyed) was Microsoft’s Small Basic.  Now, we had done some silly little programs in class but this was a little more involved and so I decided to code the solution with this language to see how it looked.

It took probably 20-30 minutes as I had to learn some of the nuances of the language in order to make it work.  Eventually, it was done and I thought that I would share it with Alfred.  Now, in a traditional world, I’d save the code to a text file and then email it to him.  Given my blog post of yesterday, that would be a little hypocritical.  However, as I noted in the post, there are better ways to share resources and Small Basic fills the bill there.  Instead of saving the application, I just publish it.  The code goes off to Microsoft’s cloud and I’m given a code.  Could it be this easy to share?

Ever the skeptic, I save the program locally, shut down Small Basic and reload it.  This time, I give it the code I received before and, voila, there’s my program.  Sweet.  The code is on the way to Alfred.  Perhaps I could save him a little time but I suspect that he’ll write his own program and do a better job at it.

From this experience though, I had a number of things confirmed.  The best programs for the classroom solution are all around us.  We just have to find them.  I’m impressed with how Small Basic could handle it.  I’m even more impressed with how easily I could share my code.  In the classroom, what a great way for students to collaborate. Or, from a teaching perspective, I could distribute a program for students to debug, or to distribute the basics of a program and allow them to complete it.  Best of all, Small Basic is free and so the home/school connection gets stronger.

I love it.

• Brochures, Posters, Videos

• The curriculum adopts an inquiry-based learning model and each unit concludes with an in-depth project. The instructional materials have been developed for high school classrooms in Los Angeles Unified School District as an instruction tool for introducing students to the “computational thinking” of computer science.

• Easily incorporate computational thinking into your curriculum with these classroom-ready lessons, examples, and programs. For more resources, including discussion forums and news, visit our ECT Discussion Forums.

• D3 allows you to bind arbitrary data to a Document Object Model (DOM), and then apply data-driven transformations to the document. As a trivial example, you can use D3 to generate a basic HTML table from an array of numbers. Or, use the same data to create an interactive SVG bar chart with smooth transitions and interaction.

tags: d3 js javascript icsxx

• Here are various types of creative Airplanes which looks different than usual airplanes. Take a look…

tags: world 11 planes amusing

• Poisonous animals – not sure about the amusing part.

tags: 10 amusing most animals

• France, officially the French Republic is a state in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. France is famous for the Eiffel Tower but have you ever visited the some other places of France. Here are 32 awesome and beautiful pictures of beautiful France.

• “Earth From Above” is the result of the aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s five-year airborne odyssey across six continents. It’s a spectacular presentation of large scale photographs of astonishing natural landscapes. Every stunning aerial photograph tells a story about our changing planet.

• You share and access some of your most sensitive data through your web browser, so it doesn’t hurt to add a little extra security to your browsing session. Here’s a look at five of the best, most popular security extensions out there.

tags: browser best five

• Event Eye is an indexed, searchable, content aggregator that pulls together the best content from the web about a particular conference or event.

Event Eye pulls together the conversations pre, during and post event (linking to blogs, twitter, websites and related sites to the content of the event); signposts educators to new resources; adds to the advertisement of an event and helps create an audience-participative/feedback rich event.

tags: eye the making of event

• LiveBinders has an age restriction because we are not allowed to collect email addresses from children who are under 13. Unfortunately, we need an email address in case a student forgets their password.

• Finding Hidden Treasures for your Interactive Whiteboard

• These 7 computer freaks are a security breach we’d totally let happen. To us. As men. Hacker chicks have got to be the internet’s greatest product. Their mix of intelligence, geekiness and sex appeal is a code nobody wants to crack, and the fact that they play with fire makes them that much hotter. So here are the hottest hacker chicks in internet history along with their stories, what they’re good at and a few pics of what they look like.

• The History of the Internet Infographic

• We’re compiling all our mapping of the protests spreading across the Middle East on this master map. If you’ve spotted something and want us to add it, or if you’ve already mapped it yourself, tweet us @storyful or email curator@storyful.com with suggestions.

tags: protests middle east

• At TEDxRainier, Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another — by listening to the humans around them and “taking statistics” on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world.

• Keep up to date with the Top 10 Apps this week and more!  Click here to view now >

• Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.

• Whether you have one or
two snapshots from a family album or a library of archived images, together we can build a history of the world.

• This is a website of free English Langauge Teaching materials for teachers and students. Jokes written in graded English are followed by grammar and vocabulary exercises.