This is kind of a rhetorical question as I really am not asking it as I think we should. Computer Science Education research has shown that early exposure to computational thinking can affect long term student career choice. While this can be positive as shown by work by the late Randy Pausch, this can also be a negative. If good, interesting instruction such as Pausch’s work with Alice, the excellent work on Robotics in CS0, and those who do mobile dev with App Inventor then students leave excited about Computer Science and hungry for more. But imagine a CS0 or CT class where the instructor is dry, disinterested and assigns boring assignments. You could hurt the outcomes more than a good class improves them. This says to me that the real issue is not coming up with pre-packaged courses as is common in the CSE literature, but to actually get the teachers excited and interested in the material so they can share their enthusiasm in their classes. Building teacher buy-in and commitment to creative education is the missing link in the CS0/CT movement.
So how do we train the teachers? I’m proposing to the NSF that the answer is research experience programs. Bring teachers into a research center and have them conduct research while getting instruction on bringing CT to their own classes. This allows dissemination of ideas such as nifty assignments, and CT pedagogy while building their own excitement and appreciation for computational sciences.
After hearing Mills Kelly speak on pedagogy of disruption at THATCamp CHNM 2012, I’ve been thinking about how natural it would be to implement this in a Computer Science or Information Science context. There is ample supply of areas to draw from, The THATCamp movement, Mills Kelly’s own course on hoaxes, Sandy Stone’s programs in the Univesity of Texas’s ACTLab, Abertay University’s Ethical Hacking class, the MIT Hacker Club, Collegiate Cyber Defense Competitions and Patrick Burkart at Texas A&M’s Communication and Technology class.
The vision for a Disruptive Technology course in the CS or IS context would be to teach students how to think creatively and subversively about technology to flip the paternalistic role of tech they have been brought up on to show how technology is truly an open area that politics and philosophy are imposed on. How society shapes technology and how we can turn around and effect society via re-application of technology.
This is starting as a repost of my THATCamp CHNM session post, I will add more to this in the future.
I’ve notice a disparaging trend at both the ACM/IEEE-CS JCDL conference and at THATCamps. Digital Libraries researchers from Computer Science have never heard of THATCamp and don’t really interact with the people who attend. Conversely people at THATCamp don’t tend to think of the ACM/IEEE-CS community when they think about what is going on in digital libraries, digital archives, and digital humanities.
In fact the 2012 JCDL conference just ended at GWU the day before THATCamp V started at GMU. Here were two groups of people with similar concerns, interests, and goals across town and unaware of each other.
This session is to discuss why there is fragmentation between the more LIS DL people at THATCamp/ALA/etc and the more CS DL at JCDL/TPDL/etc and try and discuss ways to bridge the gap and bring both groups closer together.