Wednesday, December 5, 2007

ACM creates Education Policy Committee

More news today, and more topics for discussion at SIGCSE 2008 -- the ACM announced today a new committee to explore ways "to improve opportunities for quality education in computing and computer science." This announcement coincided (on purpose) with an announcement of the results of the 2006 Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA).

Well, just when I thought I had enough to keep abreast about in computing education -- fortunately, the first public appearance of the ACM EPC* will be a panel discussion at SIGCSE 2008, entitled "An Open Dialogue Concerning the State of Education Policy in Computer Science," with the session moderated by Robert B. Schnabel (photo left), Dean of the Indiana University School of Informatics and recently appointed Chair of the ACM EPC. By the way, as symposium chair I call "dibbs" on the doorway between this panel session and "Nifty Assignments" ;-).

From my quick read, the goals of the EPC overlap substantially with SIGCSE and other organization like CSTA, CCSC and SIGITE. Personally (but in a professional way), I applaud this effort as many of us at the undergraduate and graduate level believe (albeit mostly anecdotally) that many of the issues that arise involving enrollments occur outside of the university, and with the right support we could all benefit from a more coordinated approach.

On the other hand, there is the old saw that when there's a problem perceived, form another committee ... :-( -- the EPC will only be able to make real impact with some informed discussion and support to implement the recommendations (sounds familiar to me).

Just another reason to meet us all in Portland in March for SIGCSE 2008.
__

* just a warning, our campus uses EPC for its Educational Policy Committee and I already have enough confusion in my life :-)

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