ACM Special Interest Group for Information Technology Education
SIGITE

Computing in High School/IT Research

Few Students make time to study computer science

This is a good article talking about the state of computing classes available for high school students.  Unfortunately in elementary and high schools, computing coursework is referred to singularly as “computer science” rather than computing or information technology.  This primarily is due to the fact that school boards are hard pressed to give credit for something they do not recognize as a science, even a “psuedo-science” as they attribute to computer science.

But even computer science offerings as you can see from this article suffer from a fate of simply being electives in our schools today.  Often if there is a “technology” requirement, it only amounts to using Windows or office applications rather than anything we might recognize as computing.

And if you want to offer anything besides “computer science” or applications courses in school districts, like say networking, unfortunately you will find these in vocational schools pushed aside as simply training along with other skills like auto repair.

Those of us who try and be a proponent for information technology as an academic discipline know this attitude all to well.  Administrators and fellow academics constantly think of what we do simply as training, something “less than” that requires very little in terms of education.

One answer to these critics in the eyes of the leadership of SIGITE is to develop the IT research agenda and encourage faculty to publish the research going on in their own departments by themselves and their students.  For more of a discussion on IT research see our webpage and consider submitting papers to be published by our Research in IT offering or at our upcoming SIGITE Conference on IT Education (where despite the name you will find traditional research along side the more prevalent pedagogical work).