Multi-disciplinary university workshop aims to transform computing education
Faculty members in computer science, English, and the Pamplin College of Business will lead a two-day workshop aimed at gathering information about the use of computing and information technology in different disciplines. The workshop, on Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1, will be held at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.
Keynote talks in Alumni Assembly Hall are open to the public: 11 a.m. on Friday University of Arizona Professor Hsinchun Chen will present “Living in the Knowledge Society: Web 2.0 and Social Media Analytics,” and at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday Robert Panoff, executive director of The Shodor Educational Foundation will present “Computational Thinking across the Curriculum: The Power and the Peril.”
The third in a series of four, the workshop is part of the LIKES (Living In the KnowlEdge Society) Community Building Project that aims to transform computing education for the 21st century. Virginia Tech, Villanova University, North Carolina A&T, and Santa Clara University are the four lead institutions in the project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation.
“We are collaborating with faculty from disciplines outside of computing and information technology to identify key computing concepts in these disciplines,” said Edward Fox, professor of computer science in the university’s College of Engineering and the project’s principal investigator. “We will then develop and implement tools and techniques that enable learning of both computing concepts and the concepts of the disciplines.”
Co-investigators are English professor Carlos Evia and Pamplin faculty members Patrick Fan, Christopher Zobel, and Steven Sheetz. The LIKES team at Virginia Tech, Fox said, has also launched a series of courses this fall to enable undergraduates to satisfy their Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements while learning skills and concepts of applied computing that are redefining the global workplace. Read more information on LIKES at Virginia Tech online.
“Through the workshops, online community discussions, and our own research, the LIKES community is discovering key computing-related issues in core disciplines and engaging leaders nationwide in brainstorming about their computing education needs,” he said. “This helps faculty members in computing-related education programs and core or liberal education courses engage with each other to build the global knowledge society.”
The workshop will include small group sessions in which members from each discipline will brainstorm and share ideas that will be reported to a larger, multidisciplinary group, he said. “We will look for opportunities for interaction among disciplines and mutually enriching examples of applied computing.”