Invited Speaker#1: Prof Eric Roberts, Stanford University
Title: Making Computer Science Fun Again
"Has anyone considered the possibility that it's just not fun any
more?" -- Don Knuth, Stanford University, October 2006
Over the last five years, computing education in most advanced economies has faced a seeming paradox: despite projections that the field offers tremendous employment opportunities and extraordinary growth potential for the foreseeable future, student interest in pursuing computing degrees has plummeted. In response, many educators have called for a massive overhaul of computing curricula to increase its attractiveness to students. In this talk, I argue that such efforts are misdirected in that they fail to respond to the underlying causes of the enrollment decline, which are the following:
1. The kind of exposure students get to computing in schools turns them away from the discipline long before they reach university.
2. The push to unify the many different subdisciplines of computing have led to a general perception that the field is primarily focused on information technology and business rather than the intellectual challenge that led previous generations of computer scientists into the field.
3. The image of work in the field -- and, more importantly, all too much of the reality of work in the field -- is unattractive to most students and no longer seems fun, particularly in comparison to other opportunities that bright students might pursue.
Speaker Resume: Eric Roberts is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, past chair of the ACM Education Board, and chair of the ACM Java Task Force. He was the principal author of the Joint ACM/IEEE-CS Task Force responsible for the Computer Science volume in the CC2001 series. Professor Roberts received the received the SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education in 2003.
Invited Speaker#2: Dr Maria Fasli, University of Essex
Title: Having Fun while you Learn: Motivation, Learning and Gamesrence
Abstract: It is widely recognised
that the very nature of teaching in modern universities has changed.
Whereas higher education was once thought of as primarily the process of
transmitting knowledge through formal presentations, a growing body of
research has made it clear that student motivation and engagement play
fundamental roles in learning. This talk will discuss how games can be
employed in an educational context and the benefits from incorporating
gaming elements into the learning process to improve the students'
motivation and engagement. How games can be used to engage students in
problem-solving and facilitate collaborative learning will be explored.
The potential of using games as a means to encourage students to engage
in research activities will also be examined. Case studies demonstrating
the benefits of using games will be presented.ynote at IEEII from OLPC
Invited Speaker#3: Dr.
Patrick Jermann, CRAFT - Centre de Recherche et d'Appui pour la
Formation et ses Technologies
Title: From the desktop to the table: getting in touch with
technologies too often rely on logistic innovation where students
learn the old way on a new (smaller, faster, more mobile, ...) device.
In this talk I argue in favor of interactive learning technologies and
pedagogical innovation: tools and learning situations which structure
the learners' interaction, embed concepts and theories in authentic
situations, and favor problem-solving over exercising. Recent
developments in areas like tangible user interfaces and mixed reality
afford the design of such interactive learning environments. It is not
clear however which technologies will make it to the educational
market. Examples from current practice in computing education will
illustrate how to implement the active learning agenda with today's
Jermann has been working in the field of educational technologies for
the past 15 years. After an initial training in psychology, he
specialized in the design, development and evaluation of interactive
learning systems. Since 2003, he coordinates eLearning services at
EPFL. His current research focuses on collaborative problem-solving
supported by augmented reality and tangile computing.