Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blogs in Plain English

You are reading my blog, so I guess you have some concept of what a blog is. This video breaks down the idea of blogging and will hopefully inspire you to create your own blog about a topic that speaks to you. Enjoy!

Help! I can't open that file at school...

My wife, Cathy Cheo-Isaacs posted an entry in her blog that addresses the age old issue of incompatibility regarding versions of Microsoft Office. I am continually asked to open files for students because they completed them at home using a different version of Office. For example, they may have Office 2007 at home, and our computers have Office 2000 or 2003. Whatever the case may be, Cathy provides the answer with a link to the Microsoft compatibility pack.

Visit her entry here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

GameMaker - Free Game Development Program

GameMaker is a wonderful drag and drop gamemaking tool. It is easy enough for elementary students to use to create games and robust enough for the hard core programmer. I have used this to teach programming concepts and constructs with students from grade 2 through 10. I am continually amazed by the creations of my students and the countless hours they put into creating their games. The toolset is openended and provides the game designer with the opportunity to create any type of game they can think of without limitation.

GameMaker is supported by an online community called yoyogames ( The site allows you to download a plethora of resources. The program is available for free and an additional set of tools can be unlocked by purchasing the Pro version at a nominal fee. The pro version is not necessary, but for the small donation it is certainly worth supporting the development team. You can also download resources including tutorials, graphics, sounds, etc. Finally, you can post your games to the yoyogames site for others to enjoy or download games created by others.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nine Year Old Writes Popular iPhone App!

Nine Year Old, Lim Thye Chean (left) created a drawing application for the iPhone. The application was originally created for his younger sisters (ages 3 and 5) so they could draw on the iPhone. The program allows users to draw on the iPhone touch screen with their fingers and erase the 'slate' by shaking the iPhone. So far, this application has been downloaded more than 4,000 time from the iTunes store.

One of my passions is teaching game design and development, so I am especially excited by the possibilities regarding the potential for distribution of games created by students. This is quite motivating for the developer and inspiring for budding developers. Way to go Lim Thye!

Please view the entire article at

Thursday, February 5, 2009 Where the Education Community Connects

Today, I stumbled upon a new Social Networking site for Educators. It's kind of like Facebook for Educators. The site is designed to connect educators. On this site, you can:
  • create a profile
  • maintain a blog
  • create or join education communities
  • share resources (lesson plans, weblinks, etc.)
  • communicate with 'friends' in the education community
  • upload and share pictures and videos
I joined today and encourage you to do the same. If you do, please send me a 'friend' request (Steven Isaacs). Click here to find out more or join.

So far, I joined the 21st Century Skills community and am interested to see what kind of discussion ensues.

See you online!