Mastermind (.net)

“What is it that you do?” This is certainly one of the most asked questions since I took my very (very) early retirement. For me it has never been a question. My interests range from reading, nature walks, games, politics (independance?), economy (euro?), programming, studying in general and my most favourite answer will always be ‘slotcars’. (I won’t bore you now with an account of improvements made to the timing software and to the new scratchbuild cars….)

On the more serious side the answer is that teaching still interests me the most. Only last week I received Mara Saeli’s Thesis on Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) in relation to teaching programming to students in Dutch secondary schools. It stimulated me to take up on my promise to write course-ware for “Informatica” (Dutch name for Computer Sciences) on the subject of programming. My 10 years of experience in the classroom and the additional information of the thesis seems to me a sound basis to produce something teachers might want to use. I would like to contribute the course-ware to the public domain resource that always helped me greatly preparing my lessons, http://www.informaticaVO.nl.

And for the fun part in view of this ambition, “what do I do?”. Well, it means I have to produce all sorts of little programs to use with the course-ware material. Analyses of the structure, identifying individual parts of the program and the right approach to explain them will be the basis for teaching students programming. And it gives me a chance to experiment with the many different programming languages around. As an example you will find a little project called “Mastermind” that I used to get acquainted with Visual Basic 2010 Express.¬†You can download the program but be aware to run the program Framework .NET 4.0 client will have to be installed onto your computer. It will do so automatically but you can also do it yourself via this direct link here.

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