The ACM Turing China conference will have a SIGCSE track this May. Come see SIGCSE Chair Amber Settle, world-famous CS educator Dan Garcia (recently in NYTimes) from Berkeley, and me in Shanghai in May.
The ACM TURC 2017 (SIGCSE China) conference is a new leading international forum at the intersection of computer science and the learning sciences, seeking to improve practice and theories of CS education. ACM TURC 2017 will be held in Shanghai, China, 12-14 May, 2017. We invite the submission of original rigorous research on methodologies, studies, analyses, tools, or technologies for computing education.
Source: ACM TURC 2017 (SIGCSE China)
Please follow the survey link below to give feedback to Google on what you think is important in CS education research.
We are collecting input to inform the direction of Google’s computer science (CS) education research in order to better support the field. As researchers, educators, and advocates working in the field everyday, your input is extremely valued. Please complete this survey by Sunday, April 23. Feel free to share this survey with others who may be interested in sharing their insights.Thank you,Jennifer, on behalf of Google‘s CS Education Research & Evaluation team
Kate Cunningham is a first year PhD student working with me in computing education research. She just won an NSF graduate research fellowship, and the College of Computing interviewed her. She explains the direction that she’s exploring now, which I think is super exciting.
“I’m interested in examining the kinds of things students draw and sketch when they trace through code,” she said. “Can certain types of sketching help students do better when they learn introductory programming?” She grew interested in this topic while working as a teacher for a program in California. As she watched students there work with code, she found that they worked solely with the numbers and text on their computer screen.“They weren’t really drawing,” she said. “I found that the drawing techniques we encouraged were really useful for those students, so I was inspired to study it at Georgia Tech.”
Essentially, the idea is that by drawing or sketching a visual representation of their work as they code, students may be able to better understand the operations of how the computer works. “It’s a term we call the ‘notional machine,’” Cunningham explained. “It’s this idea of how the computer processes the instructions. I think if students are drawing out the process for how their code is working, that can help them to fully understand how the instructions are working.” That’s one benefit. Another, she said, is better collaboration. If a student is sketching the process, she posits, the teacher can better see and understand what they’re thinking.
Jan Cuny wrote a blog post about where we are in the effort to provide CS education to everyone. Next month is important for the CS for All effort — the first offering of the AP CS Principles exam is May 5. Last I heard, over 46,000 students had turned in materials for their digital portfolios as part of the AP CSP exam. I’m eager to hear how many actually take it!
Progress has been dramatic. Many school districts and states now require CS in all K-12 schools – examples include New York City, San Francisco, Broward County (FL), Rhode Island, Virginia, and in 2016, Chicago became the first major district to make CS a graduation requirement. Also in 2016, a new organization — CSforAll.org— formed to build community among national stakeholders and provide resources for parents, teachers, school districts, and education researchers. And the new AP CSP officially launched this year with 2,700 teachers, putting it on track to be the largest AP launch ever.
A useful report when trying to make an argument for the importance of Broadening Participation in Computing efforts:
Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering provides statistical information about the participation of these three groups in science and engineering education and employment. Its primary purpose is to serve as a statistical abstract with no endorsement of or recommendations about policies or programs. National Science Foundation reporting on this topic is mandated by the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (Public Law 96-516).This digest highlights key statistics drawn from a wide variety of data sources. Data and figures in this digest are organized into five topical areas—enrollment, field of degree, occupation, employment status, and early career doctorate holders.
Code.org just blogged that we have set a record in the number of BS in CS graduates.
University CS graduates have set a new record, finally surpassing the number of degrees earned 14 years ago.With a 15% increase in computer science graduates (49,291 bachelor’s degrees), 2015 had the largest number of CS graduates EVER! The previous high point was over a decade ago, in 2003.
But look at the female numbers there — they are less than what they were in 2003. We are graduating 2/3 as many women today as in 2003. (Thanks to Bobby Schnabel for pointing this out.) We have lost ground.
My most recent Blog@CACM is on the new CRA “Generation CS” report, and about the impacts the rise in enrollment are having on diversity. One of the positive messages in this report is that departments that have worked to improve their diversity have been successful. As a national statistic, this doesn’t feel like a celebration when CS is becoming less diverse in just 12 years.