Computing Applications Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

  1. Article

We open the new year looking toward the future—that is, future technologists, artists, farmers, builders, teachers, scientists, thinkers, leaders, inventors. For regardless of the path today’s young people eventually choose, all will be guided by an emerging array of learning tools and technologies designed to shape their education, their view of the world, and what they ultimately elect to accomplish while on it.

It’s an awesome challenge to those charged with (or, more appropriately, drawn to) creating the very products and technologies that will not only direct but influence the educational adventure of future generations. Indeed, so critical the calling and so diverse the mix of expertise, that a field is fast emerging to channel the related research and conceive the technologies that will foster a lifelong love of learning.

This month’s special section explores the growing field of Interaction Design and Children (IDC) with articles that illustrate the latest research and products to educate future generations. Guest editors Allison Druin and Juan Pablo Hourcade describe the field of IDC as a woven blend of work by computer scientists, HCI practitioners, library technologists, psychologists, media producers, educators, toy designers, government officials, and, yes, children. The articles explore the IDC technology design process, new technology development, and empirical evaluation. The section begins with a Q&A featuring three industry pioneers—Seymour Papert, Alan Kay, and Marvin Minsky—whose devotion to technology and children is legendary.

Also this month, Mahapatra and Lai introduce a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of end-user training programs. Fonseca et al. present a stream-based method for analyzing Web complexity. Holzinger encourages every software developer to have a firm grasp of usability methods. Tillquist and Rodgers offer techniques to measure the value of IT within an organization and how it compares across different firms and industries. And Vaidyanathan presents criteria for tapping the most suitable third-party logistics provider.

Meg McGinity points out the obstacles of fitting biometrics into telecom and wireless services in "Staying Connected." Phillip Armour marks the challenges associated with testing systems in "The Business of Software." In "Viewpoint," Deborah Anderson argues for linguistic diversity on the Net via the Script Encoding Initiative. In "Technical Opinion," Stuart Barnes uses journal citation reports to assess the influence of IS journals. And George Ledin warns of the "Risks" of failing to teach viruses and worms to CS students.

David Patterson finds solutions for some are often solutions for all in "President’s Letter." And Chris Stephenson introduces the Computer Science Teachers Association—ACM’s new international organization for teachers pursuing excellence in computer education.

Diane Crawford

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