Teacher’s Training Website – CodeVA

In a conference, a colleague shared some resource for K-12 Teacher Training program:

Other nice resources for teaching kids programming include:

As K-12 teachers’ time is limited, and training is needed. If someone want to start some kind of K-12 program, it really need the collaboration, good organization, and strong teacher supports.

Categories: Ideas / Resources

Blender – Game Design

06/18/2015 1 comment

We are trying to find some FOSS (Free & Open Source Software) for educational game design. Especially, we would like to simulate some multi-agent environment, and design emotional virtual agents in it. Hope there is enough programming power in designing effective algorithms for agents. One of my students tried this, and here are some related references:

1. http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Main_Page

2. https://cgcookie.com/blender/

This one uses python 2.3 to write code.

If anyone knows any good game design engine, please let us know. Thanks.

Categories: Ideas / Resources

Count Your Blessings

10/06/2014 1 comment

Message from: Benedict College, College Minister

When we focus on God’s grace it can change our attitude and perspective on life. If you want to put some joy in your life, wake up in the morning, and rather than complaining about what you don’t have, start with the grace of God, start with what He’s already done that you don’t deserve in the first place. As the song says,

Count your blessings, Name them one by one
Count your blessings, See what God has done
Count your blessings Name them one by one
And it will surprise you What the Lord has done.

Titus 3:3-7 “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Categories: Inspiration

Strategies to Help Relieve Final Exam Stress

04/30/2014 1 comment

Are you or someone you know preparing for exams? Here are some tips to share about staying healthy during this stressful time at school:

  • Sleep. We know it’s tempting to pull all-nighters when you are preparing for an exam, but it is proven that getting sleep is more beneficial to your success than those unproductive, very late nights of studying.
  • Exercise. Whether it’s walking, running, yoga, a dance class or ultimate frisbee, moving your body will help to give you energy and relieve tension.
  • Remember to eat – and not just junk food. Your body and brain need sustenance to focus and retain information.
  • Take advantage of office hours. Your professors are there for you – don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help with your work when you need it.
  • There’s no magic pill. Misusing prescription drugs is not an effective or safe strategy to get through finals. Research shows that students who take un-prescribed stimulants to study or stay awake do worse academically than those who don’t.
  • There’s good stress and bad stress. If you are feeling so overwhelmed or anxious that it’s difficult to concentrate, sleep, eat or participate in your usual activities, please talk to a counselor.
  • Do your best. It may not be possible to ace every test, and that is OK. Try your hardest and be proud that you did.

(From: Counseling Services, Benedict College)

Categories: Inspiration

Summer Ideas for Students

1.Think of a job that does not now exist.  Write what that job looks like.  What would you do to make that job happen in the next 3 to 5 years?

2.Identify a job you are eying and write what is in your personality that makes you a likely person for that job.

3.Think of your dream-come-true.

4.Write something profound and share your profundity with a friend.

5.Travel to a foreign country, virtually.

6.Take a virtual cruise.

7.Visit your local county library.

8.Listen to soft music from a different culture and country.

9.Stroll in a park.

10.Go to a zoo.

11.Tour a museum.

12.Take pictures of flowers in bloom or of vegetables in a garden.

13.Trek up a hill.

14.Listen to the birds chirp and write a reflection poem of the birds’ chirping.

15.Throw a pebble in a pond and recreate through a painting the rippling of the water.

16.Make a pot holder, or beads, or a bracelet.

17.Learn how to operate a sewing machine.

18.Make a blanket or take a quilting class.

19.Crochet a tie.

20.Become involved in a community service organization.

21.Serve a meal to the elderly.

22.Chat with a fisherman about fishing on the banks of a waterway.

23.Watch the sun rise and sun set; and record the different colors that you observed.

24.Smell the coffee and explain its aroma to a friend.

25.Interview an elderly family member about your family tree.

26.Sing a song to yourself and identify your voice range and pitch.

27.Write about the venue of a stage performance.

28.Read a book about innovations; and think and write about something you would like to innovate.

29.Admire a work of art and categorize the art piece by its century.

30.Visit a church.

31.Travel with family members.  Write 2 paragraphs about a memorable summer experience.

32.Sketch out your “paradise.”

33.List 5 persons whom you admire and assess their characteristics that are impressive to you.

34.“Step-up” to the collegiate challenge of a rising junior.

35.Read. Read. Read.

36.Please add other suggestions:

(From: Quality Sophomore Initiative (QSI), Benedict College)

Categories: Ideas / Resources

If it is raining outside…….

Message from: Rev. Thomas V. Davis, College Minister
    If it is raining outside, you may want it to stop, but you can’t control the rain. However, you can open an umbrella. An umbrella does not change the circumstances, but it changes you in the middle of the circumstances. The wetness is no longer controlling you.
    God’s grace opens up an umbrella during the rainy seasons of life so that we may overcome and have the victory even when everything around us is wet. We who believe in God are over comers. The rain will past. Remember the only way we get to experience a beautiful rainbow is by watching the sun shine through the rain. The “SON” will shine through the dark clouds and rain in your life. He always does, He always will.
    Song writer Charles A. Tindley put it like this, ”

When the storms of life are raging,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the storms of life are raging,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the world is tossing me
Like a ship upon the sea
Thou Who rulest wind and water,
Stand by me (stand by me).

In the midst of tribulation,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the midst of tribulation,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the hosts of hell assail,
And my strength begins to fail,
Thou Who never lost a battle,
Stand by me (stand by me).

Ps. 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God:” KJV
Categories: Inspiration

Validate Email Address in Google Form

Google Form provides a good function to check the respondents’ answer in accordance with customized guidelines. Here is how to set a regular expression to make sure the respondent fill in a valid email address:

  1. Create a form.
  2. From the Insert menu, select “Text” from the list.
  3. Click Advanced Settings at the bottom of the question.
  4. Select Data validation to show the data validation options.
  5. Select Regular expression, Matches.
  6. Copy “^[a-zA-Z0-9._-]+@[a-zA-Z0-9.-]+\.[a-zA-Z]{2,4}$” to the “Patten” field.
  7. Copy “Invalid email address.” to the “Custom error text” field.
  8. Done.

Now, respondents who enter invalid email address will see an error message “Invalid email address.”


  1. Validate answers in your form. https://support.google.com/drive/answer/3378864?hl=en
  2. Apps Script Tutorial: Validation. http://www.googleappsscript.org/user-interface/validation
Categories: iTechnology