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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

For the past ten months, I have been waiting and waiting sometimes patiently and sometimes not so patient for the DreamSpark program to be available to high school students. Back in February with a huge announcement by Bill Gates about the DreamSpark program, I have been waiting. So here's the program:

The Microsoft DreamSpark student program www.DreamSpark.com makes available, at no charge, a broad range of development and design software for download. The program is now available to more than 35 million college students in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. Broad global coverage, as well as an expansion of the program to high school students around the world, potentially reaching up to 1 billion students worldwide, will continue throughout the next year.

Now you know why I was patiently waiting. Here is what my students get:

Microsoft DreamSpark is available to all students whose studies touch on technology, design, math, science and engineering. Students of today are more technical in their everyday lives than ever — representing both their personal interests and what is expected of them when they arrive in the workplace for the first time. The following cutting-edge software will be available to empower students to unlock their ingenuity by building critical skills:

Microsoft developer tools. Visual Studio is the Swiss Army knife of computer programming. These professional-grade products provide a security-enhanced and reliable environment, enabling students to program everything from a cell phone to a robot or to create their own Web page. Students will also be able to invent compelling new gaming content and make their dream game a reality by porting their creations to their Xbox 360 console.

Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition

Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition

XNA Game Studio 2.0

12-month free Academic membership in the XNA Creators Club

Microsoft designer tools. This ultra-versatile suite of tools will enable students to vividly bring their creative visions to life in vibrant new Web site designs and more effective digital content, including animation, imagery and photography.

Expression Studio, including

•Expression Web

•Expression Blend

•Expression Design

•Expression Media

Microsoft platform resources. The foundation for development and design platforms, these products deliver a security-enhanced, reliable and manageable environment for students to more quickly turn ideas into reality.

SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition

Windows Server, Standard Edition

Now you can see why I waited so patiently. My students will get their hands on these tools for free and hopefully get motivated to learn more. Thanks Microsoft for this generous gift to my students.

Posted on Friday, December 19, 2008 9:11 AM | Back to top

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