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SIGITE/RIIT 2012 » ACM Conference on IT Education/Research » Panel: CS/IT Outreach from a Canadian Perspective

Panel: CS/IT Outreach from a Canadian Perspective

  • Computer Science Education Week (a.k.a. CSEdWeek) [3], officially recognized in the United States, has also helped to raise the profile of Computer Science Education in Canada and to start many conversations about computer science education that typically find receptive audiences across many sectors. Yet, the focus does not need to be computer science alone. The Association for Computing Machinery has two special interest groups explicitly dedicated to education: SIGCSE for computer science and SIGITE for information technology. Looking at the CC2005 document [5], one also fi nds mention of computer engineering, information systems, and software engineering. Still more areas, such as bioinformatics, may be included in future computing curricula surveys.
    Programming can be identifi ed as a common thread in these areas. As educators, we do not expect that all students who take programming will pursue computer science or information technology in post-secondary education. However, we do want students to choose programming over being programmed [7]. In a 2009 Conference Board of Canada survey of young people, most could not identify an ICT (Information and Communication Technology) job. However, ICT jobs are everywhere with only about half inside the traditional information technology sector. Students, parents, teachers, guidance councilors, and school administrators need to see computing as “fun, cool, creative, and social” [8] and a great choice for a rewarding career.
    Computing curriculum is not standardized across provinces, where it exists in various stages of renewal. Ideally, students will be exposed to CS/IT at an age when they are interested in exploring the possibilities that it presents. K-12 teachers, both pre-service and in-service, need support and resources to help them encourage students in computational thinking and CS/IT. Although it may be too late to attract students new to CS/IT in Grade 12 as potential post-secondary majors, post-secondary education should provide pathways for these students to incorporate CS/IT into their programs of study.
    The panel will give a representation of very encouraging CS/IT outreach eff orts in Canada off ered by various organizations working in this space. These include (in alphabetical order): the Canadian Association of Computer Science/Association d’Informatique Canadienne (CACS/AIC), comprising post-secondary institutions off ering Computer Science degrees; the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS), known as Canada’s Association of I.T. Professionals; the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills (CCICT), an industry-led coalition of employers, universi-
    ties and industry organizations with the aim of ensuring availability of ICT professionals for Canadian organizations;
    and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA – international, with chapters forming across Canada), a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines.

  • Conference Registration


    SIGITE/RIIT 2012

    Canada , Calgary, AlbertaยทOctober 10 - 13, 2012

    Registration Details
    $310 ACM Members Early (Ends Aug 31)
    $320 Non-Members Early (Ends Aug 31)
    $340 ACM Members (After Aug 31)
    $370 Non-Members (After Aug 31)
    $50 Student

    register for the event 

  • Hotel Bookings


    The SIGITE 2012 conference itself be held in the Hotel Arts, which is a 175-room, full-service boutique hotel in the exciting heart of Calgary.

    Hotel Arts
    119 - 12th Avenue SW
    Calgary, AB T2R 0G8
    Phone: 403.266.4611
    Fax: 403.237.0978
    Toll-free: 1.800.661.9378
    Email: info@hotelarts.ca
    Bookings: reservations@hotelarts.ca

    Mention SIGITE 2012 or ACM or Association of Computing Machinery to get the special room rate.