Alberta Education’s Authorized CSE Textbook

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This blog was revised on September 9, 2009 to provide details concerning services of Universal Bindery (Sask) Ltd. This blog was revised on October 2, 2009 to indicate that Pearson Education will create customized versions of this textbook. This blog was revised on 27 May 2010 to indicate that Alberta Education had authorized the 8th edition of this textbook. On 4 August 2009 I purchased a new copy of this text from “NW Book Sales” through for $ 116.49 after shipping and tax. I get books like this at significantly discounted prices at and purchasing from their associated vendors under “New and Used”. Invariably I find a new copy at 20% – 30% less than the price. Update May 2011: A number of students have purchased international copies of this text from India for an after-shipping cost of $35 from I recommend that schools adopt Deitel’s Java How To Program 8th Edition. The Alberta Education vetting process for textbooks is incredibly thorough. After a resource is recommended because it correlates highly with the curriculum’s content, it is then further reviewed for appropriate grammar, reading level, and political correctness. I personally observed this process in 2008 and was extremely impressed with the care and professional standards. At the time that Alberta Education reviewed textbooks submitted by publishers for the new CTS Computer Science curriculum, the Deitel JAVA HOW TO PROGRAM 7th Edition was the single best match with the curriculum of all resources submitted by publishers to Alberta Education. However, the wheels of bureaucracy have not kept pace with the world of publishing. There is a new edition, the 8th edition, of the Deitel JAVA HOW TO PROGRAM textbook. I have personally purchased and reviewed it thoroughly and was very pleased with the

reorganization and addition of material. Given the choice, I definitely recommend the 8th Edition over the 7th Edition. At $116.49 per text, a class set of 30 texts costs $3,500. That’s a lot of money. Anticipate paying $4,000. Furthermore, this text comes bound in a soft cover! What to do?

Source of Graphic: Preface to Java How To Program 8th Edition, page xxx [pdf]
Hold on! There is enough material in this book to cover four full courses!! Why not split the books into different volumes? The books belong to the school. The school can physically do what it wants with them. The school can shred them, or freeze them, or chop them into chunks! A good bindery can “recover” each “chunk” of such a book with a hard cover that will last forever! My administrations were invariably shocked at the high cost of a comprehensive Computer Science programming text book. Hmm. What to do? Decide on which chapters you want to teach in each course, then rip away! This text will cover all of the content of all of Alberta Education’s CTS Computer Science computer programming courses, enough for six or seven 3-credit courses. I retired as a contract high school computer science teacher earlier this year. If I were still teaching, I would rebind this text into three volumes. Volume I – Modules and Control Statements – Chapters 1-6 for a first half course in grade 11. I have taught this course by covering arrays and not covering arrays. When I tried to cover arrays, I was always rushed at the end and frustrated 2/3 of my class. I recommend leaving arrays for the next course. Modules refer to methods and objects, by the way. Volume II – Object Oriented Programming (or OOP) – Chapters 7-11 plus chapter 16 on String Handling. There is a bit more in this volume than the first volume, but these students have the experience of the first course under their belt and are “in the groove”. If the class moves rapidly, there is a wealth of other topics and freely available resources that may be fruitfully covered here. Volume III – Dynamic Data Structures – Chapters 12-end of text. This grade 12 course will be (should be, in my opinion) a full course. Also, attrition generally takes it toll leaving significantly fewer students taking this advanced course. For IB Higher Level Computer Science courses, this single, large volume will be the primary Java programming language resource for both full courses running September through May. One bindery that has provided satisfactory services in the past is: Universal Bindery (Sask) Ltd. 516 A Duchess Street Saskatoon, SK S7K 0R1 voice: 1-306-652-8313 fax: 1-306-244-2994. On 9 September 2009 Donna Leier of Universal Bindery told me the following. >> Universal Bindery has a standard layout for stamping textbooks on the spine. >> Universal Bindery stamps a Volume Number and Name on a Volume. >> You specify the colours ahead of time. >> Cost: $8.44 / volume under 100 volumes; $8.22 / volume over 100 volumes. >> Negotiate to get Universal to pay return shipping after the binding is done. >> Actual Shipping Costs depend on Postal Code. Estimate about $20 /10 lbs. Reasonable shipping rates for books have (in the past) been obtained at: Tiger Courier Inc. Update October 2, 2009: See Pearson Education’s offer to customize this text. But hey, won’t two of the three volumes be missing a Table of Contents? The authors themselves provide a freely available for downloading copy of the Table of Contents [pdf]. Caveat Emptor! I have no vested interest in the fortunes of, Universal Bindery (Sask) Ltd. or Tiger Courier Inc. I am personally aware of these resources. I recommend checking them out based on knowledge of past performance. But Buyer Beware! Past performance warrants consideration but not prediction of future performance.


About the Author:

Gerry Donaldson was Calgary’s first high school teacher to use a lab of personal computers. Gerry taught CSE, including CTS, AP and IB Computer Science, for 30 years before teaching and consulting to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary.
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  1. Gerry Donaldson  November 24, 2010

    I am not a native speaker of Spanish, so I do not have the skills to translate English to Spanish. I recommend that you use software such as Google Translate at:

    Yo no soy un hablante nativo de español, así que no tienen los conocimientos necesarios para traducir Inglés al Español. Le recomiendo que utilice un software como Google Translate en: #.

    Read more about Google Translate at

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