Steps Towards Universal Computational Literacy
Add to Google Calendar
Citizens of the 21st Century need to be able to use computing to process information, express problems, investigate ideas, and develop claims with evidence. Andrea diSessa (U.California-Berkeley) called that computational literacy. Barack Obama called it computer science for all. Educators around the world are exploring the question of what constitutes computational literacy and how do we facilitate its development. We computer scientists own this problem — the first computer scientists proposed in 1961 that we teach all university students to program. We do not have the research base to answer all the public policy questions of universal computational literacy yet. I describe our efforts towards computer science for all where we embed computing education in context and tailor the education for different communities of practice. Engineering recognized the importance of computing and integrated computational literacy for professional engineering education much earlier than the rest of STEM. I propose a value in broadening "computer science for all" to engineering for all, and I suggest steps to achieve it.
Mark Guzdial is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. He studies how people come to understand computing and how to make that more effective. He leads the CSLearning4U project to create ebooks to help high school teachers learn CS. He is one of the leads on the NSF alliance "Expanding Computing Education Pathways" which helps US states improve and broaden their computing education. He invented Media Computation which uses media as a context for learning computing. With his wife and colleague, Barbara Ericson, he received the 2010 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator award. He is an ACM Distinguished Educator and a Fellow of the ACM.