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How Computer Science Education Has Changed

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A blackboard in a computer science classroom.

Technology has helped to change many aspects of computer science education, although some remain the same.

Credit: Luca Masters/flickr

The rapid advancement of technology has supported changes in many aspects of computer science education in the past decades, while other aspects have remained consistent.

One major change is the expectation that every student has their own computer, thanks to the evolution in form factors and increased affordability. Another significant development has been a de-emphasis on computing hardware as a basic field of study, and a greater concentration on programming, with one former student noting, "none of the intro classes teach assembly language. At the junior level there's Computational Structures, which goes into the theory and math behind binary logic and arithmetic, graphing, shortest-route, and so on."

Another aspect that has shifted over the years is the practical applications of computer science, with data processing and its applicability mainly to business the chief focus of the field in the 1980s. "[Students] weren't taught with the idea that you'd eventually want to try to put these pieces together into a bigger whole that would actually do something relevant or useful," says civil engineer and instructor Nick Carlson.

However, one aspect that has not changed very much is today's students, like the students at the dawn of computer science education, do not all necessarily want to become computer scientists, but instead seek skills to make their careers less complicated.

From IT World
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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