Rediscovering the passion, beauty, joy, and awe: Making computing fun again, part 5

Daniel D. Garcia, Barbara Ericson, Joanna Goode, Colleen Lewis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In 2006, computing education was suffering from a crisis - enrollments were dropping sharply at universities and colleges across the United States, and interest in computing from high school and middle school students was waning significantly. At the 2007 SIGCSE Symposium, the ACM Education Board organized a special session to explore the underlying causes. In his keynote at the same conference, Grady Booch exhorted us to share the "passion, beauty, joy and awe" (PBJA) of computing. This led to a series of room-packed sessions at the following four SIGCSE symposia to explore that idea from different angles. They have provided a forum for sharing: "What we've done: Highlighting successful PBJA initiatives the presenters have undertaken or seen and wish to celebrate. "What we should do (curriculum): Pointing out where our curriculum is lacking in PBJA, and how to fix it. "How we should do it (pedagogy): Sharing how a change in attitude / focus / etc. can make strides to improving PBJA. Fortunately, enrollments have been continually rising, and there are colleges where the numbers are so strong (returning to historic highs), that some claim the crisis is over. Some point to "the Facebook Factor" as the source of inspiration for many young students, claiming this is a "Sputnik moment". Many dispute this, however, citing statistics that indicate under-represented students have not returned, and continuing negative connotations about the field. This PBJA "movement" was born out of this enrollment crisis, but is not tied to it. There is always value in sharing novel best practices and advocating techniques that make computing fun. In the past, we tried to gather educators who brought a wide variety of perspectives (e.g., in 2010 we heard from international, domestic, high school, university and industrial representatives). At recent sessions, we've shifted from that "breadth-first" model to a "depth-first" one. This year we have invited three educators who have worked tirelessly toward broadening participation of computing to underrepresented groups. The hope with this panel is to be able to explore best practices in outreach, in terms of extolling the PBJA of computing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE'12 - Proceedings of the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Pages577-578
Number of pages2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE'12 - Raleigh, NC, United States
Duration: Feb 29 2012Mar 3 2012

Publication series

NameSIGCSE'12 - Proceedings of the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education

Conference

Conference43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE'12
CountryUnited States
CityRaleigh, NC
Period2/29/123/3/12

Keywords

  • computer science education
  • PBJA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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