New resources from Microsoft
Microsoft recently released a series of video tutorials aimed at beginner coders who are interested in learning Python.
There are 44 videos in this series and all of them are available through YouTube. The videos are co-presented by Christopher Harrison and Susan Ibach; Christopher is a senior programming manager at Microsoft, and Susan is from Microsoft’s AI gaming division. Christopher acknowledges that they don’t cover everything there is to know about Python in the video tutorials; they focused their attention on giving a solid foundation on programming in Python, starting from common everyday code and scenarios. Christopher also assures interested students that by the end of the course, they will be able to go and learn on their own, exploring all the other Python resources that are available online.
I think that this would be a valuable resource for Second Level teachers and students and is definitely well worth checking out.
The presenters use Visual Studio Code with a Python plugin added however currently I’m using PyCharm Edu as my platform for my first steps into Python programming. PyCharm Edu is a special free edition of the PyCharm IDE, bundling a range of tools for professional development along with additional educational functionality (self-paced lessons with built in lesson feedback). Visual Studio Code and the Python plugin are covered in Video 4 of the presentation at 1:20 on the timeline of the video. Accompanying text documentation for this course can be found here.
During the summer Microsoft added a “Personal Vault” feature to its OneDrive Cloud storage. Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that only the authenticated owner can access; it has a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. Your locked files in Personal Vault have an extra layer of security, keeping them more secured in the event that someone gains access to your account or your desktop PC, laptop or Mobile device. I have set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on my phone and whenever I log into my OneDrive I’m authenticated via the app with my fingerprint; when I attempt to open my Personal Vault, a second authentication request is sent to my phone. Users can, if they wish, use their password instead of the app process. With the OneDrive mobile phone app you can scan important documents directly into your Personal Vault and of course, you can also save photographs you take on your phone directly into the Vault as well. If you leave your Personal Vault inactive for a certain amount of time it automatically locks and you will need to re-authenticate.
Visually, the login Authenticator sequence looks something like this:
A notification appears on my iPhone screen; when I tap Approve, I then simply place my finger on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the Home button to confirm my identity. My login is then complete!