Archive for June 16, 2011

Thinking Beyond the Bubble: The need for a real Sputnik moment for CS

Interesting reaction (in the NYTimes) to the article about the rise in enrollment (from the NYTimes).  Good to have these kinds of debates, and this piece echoes the concerns about cyclical enrollments that are appearing on the SIGCSE mailing list.

We’re in the middle of a new bubble now, with a fresh set of millionaires. There is little doubt that this will burst and enrollments will drop again. And we’ll have another generation of students who joined computer science for the wrong reasons.

If we want a real Sputnik moment, we need to create the same demand — and excitement — we had for engineers and scientists in the ’60s, when it seemed that the nation’s survival was at stake. Parents encouraged their children to become scientists; the president told us it was a national priority; and we made huge investments. Science was sexy, chic and essential.

via Thinking Beyond the Bubble – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

June 16, 2011 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

Can open learning digital repositories be sustained?

Whoa!  The NSDL is being cut off from funding?  What does this mean for the Ensemble CS Education Portal?  At the end of the article, the author suggests that MIT OpenCourseWare and Yale’s Open Courses are facing “questions of financial sustainability.”  How do we keep the digital equivalent to the public libraries open?

The National Science Digital Library had ambitious goals when it started in 2000: create a massive open repository of STEM learning materials culled from projects funded by its benefactor, the National Science Foundation; then organize these materials so that they could be easily cherry-picked and used by science and math instructors, from higher ed all the way down. The NSF poured well over $100 million into the project.

Just over a decade later, the science digital library is on death row. It is set to be stripped of all funds in 2012, “based in part on recent evaluation findings that point to the challenges of sustaining such a program in the face of changing technology and the ways educators now find and use classroom materials,” according to a foundation directorate issued in February.

via News: Cutting the Cord – Inside Higher Ed.

June 16, 2011 at 8:58 am 1 comment


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