Fertile Ground in Africa for Computer Science to Take Root – NYTimes.com

December 6, 2011 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

What a great story!  It’s wonderful to read about the interest in CS among children growing up with digital technology in Africa, and I love the idea that CS is a science that can flourish without big infrastructural advancements.  The challenge there, as here in the US, is how to prepare teachers.  That’s a grand challenge for CS education today.

Computer science in Africa, to be sure, is still held back by the perception that it is preferable to study and work in Europe or the United States, even if that means leaving Africa permanently. This must change for computer science to flourish in the region. Georgia Tech researchers recommended in a study that African educators reinforce efforts to mold computer science curriculum to meet “local needs.”

A shortage of skilled teachers also remains a problem. The continent’s leading computer science departments — based on research publications — are all in South Africa. Yet even there, the number of university-level teachers is limited. “Our C.S. departments are much smaller than counterparts in the U.S.,” said Bill Tucker, an American who is a senior lecturer at the University of Western Cape.

via Fertile Ground in Africa for Computer Science to Take Root – NYTimes.com.

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Graduation rates are still abysmal: What’s the expectation for open learning? New book on integrating technology: The Learning Edge: What Technology Can Do to Educate All Children

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December 2011

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