Day: October 17, 2008

links for 2008-10-17


Computer Science

This week, I had the opportunity to attend a Ministry of Education session dealing with the rollout of the new Computer Science curriculum.

We’re probably a little premature because the document that we worked from had DRAFT written on every page.

But, there is a great deal in this new curriculum and it will be exciting to see it roll out.

More than the curriculum, it was invigorating to be able to associate with computer science teachers for the two days.  Here, in a hotel room in Toronto, we were a group of 70ish people with a singular focus.  We were interested in the delivery of courses of student to push students towards thinking, critical thinking, and problem solving.  While these are attributes that we like to think are covered in all subjects, there is just something extra special in the computer science subject area.  In these classrooms, students experience creative opportunities for the use of the computer that goes deeper and richer in the use of the computer than most other subject areas.

Web 2.0 technologies enable people who can point and click to turn out product that is impressive, to be sure. However, they are using the fruits of the labour of computer programmers.  Therein lies the true genius of being able to make a computer do something special.  In fact, one pundit that I read regularly is concerned that the use of Web 2.0 enables the picking of low hanging fruit.

There’s nothing low hanging in a computer science class.  Here is a discipline where the high achieving student comes to class demanding more and they are not afraid of the hours of work and extra effort to solve problems.  There really is something special about students of computer science.

When you are in a session like this, you can’t help but feel proud to be part of this group of professionals.

It bodes well for the successful implementation of the new curriculum.

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