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Communications of the ACM

Letter from Chair of Education Board

Education, Always


Andrew McGettrick

Andrew McGettrick is Professor Emeritus at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K. and the chair of ACM's Education Board and Education Council.

Moreover, he stressed ACM's position about the fundamental importance of computer science, that it should be regarded as a science on par with other sciences. Education initiatives are having a great impact within the U.S., but beyond the U.S. shores, others are watching and learning.

ACM's Education Board promotes computer science education at all levels and in all ways possible. In October, ACM Council approved the publication of the CS 2013 report—an exhaustive 10-year effort championed by ACM's Education Board and IEEE-Computer Society. The curriculum presents many new features, including an outward-facing view of the discipline, facilitating links with multidisciplinary work. It draws attention to the different platforms on which software resides and places considerable emphasis on security. Information Assurance and Security is deemed a new "knowledge area;" moreover, security considerations are to be embedded within the teaching of programming, software development, the human-computer interface activities, databases, networking, and other topic areas to better prepare students for the future.


Comments


CACM Administrator

The following letter was published in the Letters to the Editor in the April 2014 CACM (http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2014/4/173227).
--CACM Administrator

I keep reading about U.S. initiatives involving massively open online courses, or MOOCS, and computer science education in schools, as in Andrew McGettrick's Letter from the Chair of Education Board "Education, Always" (Feb. 2014) and Tim Bell's Viewpoint "Establishing a Nationwide CS Curriculum in New Zealand High Schools" (Feb. 2014). Here, I would like to point out the U.K. has had a distance-education universityThe Open University, founded 1971that has made ample use of appropriate technology and is well worth looking at if you want to benefit from a long-running, successful, high-quality system; for a condensed history of this so-called "University of the Air," see http://www.open.ac.uk/about/main/the-ou-explained/history-the-ou. I would also like to point to England's more recent but equally successful campaign called "Computing At School" to introduce and scale out teaching computer science for all schoolchildren; see http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/. All can likewise share quite a bit of useful experience there, too.

Jon Crowcroft
Cambridge, England


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