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2005 Conference (7th)

Session Descriptions and Resources

Object Oriented Programming in Flash ActionScript

Presenter: Rob Scott -

Do you have to entertain students that have been "dropped in" to your programming courses, while trying to maintain the integrity required by students who are going on in Computer Science? Ministry licensed Flash is a programming environment that combines multimedia, animation, and object-oriented programming. Because it so visual, OOP concepts such as encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism seem almost obvious to students. In this session we will look at some of the features of Flash, and take a closer look at ActionScript, the Java like language built into Flash.

Network Routing Simulation

Presenter: Erin Lester
Presentation: Network Routing.pdf

This session describes and demonstrates a hands-on activity in which students simulate routers in a network. In doing the activity, students will learn an algorithm for calculating the shortest paths to all destinations in a network without having to know the network topology. The activity can be used to teach how computer networks facilitate information exchange between computers on a network, like the Internet. Basic network topology is reviewed, including the role of routers, special network nodes whose job is to know how to get messages from one destination to another.

Teaching PHP in Interdisplinary Studies

Presenter: Roy Parteno -

This lab session will provide an introduction to PHP and it’s use in teaching a Grade 12 Interdisciplinary Studies course that uses the Apache web server, PHP and mySQL database software. PHP is a Java like web programming environment. There will be a hands-on component in and provision of all teaching materials from the course. For those who would like to see the development of the course before the conference, go to and follow the idc4u link.

Interfacing -- The Jeopardy Project

Presenter: Graham Smyth
Presentation: Jeopardy Project.ppt

A major component of all Computer Engineering courses is hands on interfacing activities. One open ended summative project that could be used in any of the grade 10/11/12 Computer Engineering courses is the Jeopardy Project. Participants will build a Jeopardy Game simulator. The simulator consists of three buttons, LEDs, power supply, breadboard etc. We will assemble the necessary hardware for a three contestant game and write the software that will distinguish which-is-key-down-first and light the appropriate LED as well as play an appropriate tune. A scoring system will also be included in the software.
Participants will leave the session with all hardware and software for their own fully operational Jeopardy Game. 
Note: There is a $45 materials fee for this session.

Computer Networking

Presenter: Peter Fujiwara

This session is designed to help you understand the core networking components and concepts. The presentation will include cabling, network electronics (hubs, switches, routers), network protocols (TCP/IP), and basic client/server theory including practical applications (web/FTP servers). "How to teach networking" will be an integral part of the presentation in conjunction with teaching you the concepts.

We Don't Need Arrays

Presenter: Professor Hamzeh Roumani
Presentation: link to materials

Programming languages have come a long way since Fortran but so have the applications that our students can envision and seek to build. We therefore must change the way we teach in order to elevate programming from a bottom-up practice centered around the individual to an engineering process based on assembling ready-made components. This session demonstrates this pedagogy through several applications with a focus on Java's collection framework, a case in point of promoting the abstraction from inanimate arrays to intelligent components.

Electronic Simulation Software – Tina and Edison

Presenter: Linda Soulliere -

This session will give participants an introductory overview of the features and the operation of the newly Ministry provided Edison and Tina software and how they can be used to meet curriculum expectations in the classroom. Edison and Tina provide a simulated environment with electronic components (gates, ICs, LEDs, etc.) to design and test electronic circuits. Participants will get a chance to work with the software and take a look at possible activities for computer engineering courses.

An Intro to Alice: Shhh! Don't Tell Them It's Programming!

Presenter: Celine Latulipe

In this lab session, I will be introducing the idea of teaching students to program through story and game development in the Alice 3-D environmnent. This is a great alternative to teaching programming the standard way, especially for those students who may lack interest. In Alice everything is object-oriented, but every object is also a real object in the 3-D world, so talking about objects makes sense to students right from the beginning. You really need to try Alice to understand it. (Alice is free and runs on Windows ME, 2000 or XP or on Mac OS X 10.3+)

Introduction to Object-Oriented Concepts and Java

Presenter: Eileen Landa
Presentation: Intro to Java with

This lab will offer teachers an opportunity to write programs in Java. You will be introduced to object-oriented programming concepts and Java syntax. The teaching tool named Karel the Robot will be used to offer a “painless” way to start using classes without having to write your own. From there you will write several programs that involve using and defining classes, constructing objects, and using methods. The concept of inheritance will be introduced and used.

Taming the Python - An Introduction to Python

Presenter: Michael DiRamio
Presentation: Python.ppt

This will be an introduction to the Python language for people who have never programmed in Python before. Python is an interpreted, interactive programming language created by in 1990. Python is often compared to Tcl, Perl, Scheme, SmallTalk, and Ruby. Python runs on most platforms including Windows, Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X. Join us for a hands on session and learn to tame the Python!

An Introduction to Phidgets

Presenter: Peter Beens -
Presentation: Phidgets_Peter_Beens_ACSE2005.pdf

Phidgets are an easy to use set of building blocks for low cost sensing and control from your PC. Using the Universal Serial Bus (USB) as the basis for all Phidgets, the complexity is managed behind an easy to use and robust Application Programming Interface (API). Applications can be developed quickly in Visual Basic, VBA (Microsoft Access and Excel), LabView, Java, Delphi, C and C++.

Ministry Data Initiatives

Presenter: Bob Baran
Presentation: Data

Some significant ministry initiatives that will affect all teachers are underway at your board and coming to your classroom. These projects are centered on training all staff to analyse data from a variety of data sources to make decisions to improve student learning. The MISA and OnSIS initiatives are province wide initiatives that are mandated to all boards. This session will give you an overview of the expectations and the timelines that the ministry has set and how these initiatives may affect the classroom teacher.

Using the Rogue Blue Robot - sponsored by Merlan Scientific

Presenters: Chris Pendlebury and Paul Oravetz

Rogue Blue is a new Canadian mobile robot designed for education. It features an on board OOPIC processor, servo drive wheels, and is programmable in Visual Basic, C, and Java languages. Students can add control and communication circuits for more advanced design challenges. Rogue Blue includes classroom ready curriculum.

Implementing Strategies for Game-Playing Programs

Presenter: Steve Engels

Computer science students these days are fascinated by games, both in and out of the classroom. Whether their interests lie in online chess or minesweeper or Counter-Strike, students are fascinated with the strategies involved in these games.

This session will provide an introduction to the intelligence behind game programming, and how basic artificial intelligence techniques can be implemented in the classroom. Topics will include: uninformed search, heuristic search and alpha-beta tree pruning.

Microsoft Tools for Computer Science

Presenter: Daniel Shapiro

In this session Daniel Shapiro will take you through the various free resources Microsoft offers Computer Science educators including curriculum, software and tools. Daniel will also demonstrate Microsoft's new academic programming tools being released later this year, Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition. Microsoft will be giving away books and software to each attendee to this session.

Plenary Session

Ministry of Education Presentation

Presenter: Steve Tangney
Presentation: Curriculum Review.ppt

The Ministry of Education is currently undertaking a review of the Science and Technology 1-8, Science 9-12 and Technological Education 9-12 curriculum, which includes the computer science and computer engineering courses. Changes to the computer science and computer engineering expectations may result, with the intent of improving the curriculum for our students. Steve Tangney, from the Ministry, will present an overview of the curriculum review process. He will explain the mandate of the review, which includes the scope and timelines for implementation. In addition, he will discuss how input into the process will be solicited from subject teacher associations(including ACSE), universities, colleges, employers and other stakeholders. A question and answer format will permit audience participation.

Edited by David and Paul