Archive for April 2012
In March, the BCS Academy of Computing and Computing at School (CAS) sent an information pack (zipped) to every state secondary school in England, in order to explain the opportunities they would have from September 2012 to develop Computer Science as a rigorous academic component within a reformed ICT curriculum. The supporting materials in the information pack provides comprehensive information that should help head teachers and school governors make the right decisions:
- Covering letter, explaining the current situation and key strategic choices for schools to teach Computer Science;
- A summary of the Royal Society report Computing in Schools: Shut down or restart?;
- Computer Science as a school subject, draws on the experience of CAS and explains what Computer Science is, and why it is strategically important;
- Computer Science: A curriculum for schools, is the CAS curriculum for Computer Science, mentioned by Michael Gove in January’s BETT speech, written by a group of teachers, academics and industry researchers, and endorsed by BCS, Microsoft, Google and Intellect;
- As examples of the wealth of high-quality material that is available to support Computer Science teaching, copies of the latest CAS newsletter and cs4fn magazine.
Alongside the information pack was the announcement of the Network of Computer Science Teaching Excellence, to create a network of schools and universities across the UK to advance teaching excellence in Computer Science. Schools that are members of the network of excellence will:
- be offered enhanced and heavily subsidised CPD for a teacher in their school;
- be part of a regional teaching hub for sharing good practice and offering grassroots organised CPD;
- have regular contact with university Computer Science departments to support and inspire teaching material;
- be expected to teach Computer Science at Key Stage 3 or 4 as a catalyst for a renewed Computing curriculum as recommended by the Royal Society, which is benchmarked against the CAS curriculum;
- have opportunities for showcasing their teaching practices and experiences at national conferences;
- be proactively consulted for their views and opinions for future campaigns related to education policy.
The centres of excellence would become part of a national network for establishing best practice and spearheading innovative teaching in Computer Science, with ongoing support from CAS, the universities in the network and BCS. We need key schools spread across the UK to kickstart this initiative; as you can see from the map below (click for a live update), it has already generated a huge amount of interest, with over 400 schools registering interest.
The Network of Computer Science Teaching Excellence is open to all schools across the UK — register your interest here* and spread the word; by creating this national network and providing effective CPD for teachers, there is a prime opportunity to have a profound effect on Computer Science education in the UK.
*there will be some flexibility on the 30th April deadline…
Familiar names in the top 10 UK institutions for Computer Science:
|1.||↔||University of Cambridge||(1st)|
|2.||↔||University of Oxford||(2nd)|
|3.||↔||Imperial College London||(3rd)|
|4.||↑||University of Bristol||(5th)|
|5.||↑||University of Southampton||(6th)|
|6.||↓||University College London||(4th)|
|7.||↔||University of St. Andrews||(7th)|
|8.||↑||University of Warwick||(9th)|
|9.||↑||University of Glasgow||(12th)|
|10.||↓||University of York||(8th)|
As always, the rankings for Wales institutions in Computer Science were of particular interest to me:
|63.||↓||University of Glamorgan||(58th)|
|88.||↑||Cardiff Metropolitan University||(92nd)|
|94.||↑||University of Wales, Newport||(102nd)|
N.B. no data was available for Swansea Metropolitan University or the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
The Complete University Guide’s methodology for the subject league tables are based on four measures: Student Satisfaction, Research Assessment, Entry Standards and Graduate Prospects. To qualify for inclusion in a subject table, a university has to have data for at least two of the four measures; a blank in the Entry Standards and Graduate Prospects columns is not a zero score but rather denotes that no valid data were available.
I am chairing the IADIS International Conference Applied Computing 2012 and would like to invite you for the scientific committee of this conference that will be held in Madrid, Spain (please see http://www.computing-conf.org/).
As a member of the committee, you will get some papers to review in the topics you select (topics list available http://www.computing-conf.org/topics.asp). You are entitled to be part of the proceedings book and CD-ROM and also have free entrance to the conference except if you are author or co-author of a paper and wish to present it yourself or get it published in the proceedings in case none of the co-authors registers for the conference.
Can I just ask you for a couple of names that could also be part of this committee? The idea is to increase the number of members in the committee in order to reduce the committee members’ workload.
Also, can you please send me your address so that we can send you a CD-ROM with the proceedings of this year’s edition?
Could you please let me know whether you accept this invitation the soon
Hope to see you being part of this IADIS conference.
Applied Computing 2012 Conference Chair
I frequently receive emails inviting me to submit a paper to sham conferences or journals (or, better yet, to say that my “paper” has already been accepted for publication), but this is my first programme committee invitation. Needless to say, I am honoured.
More seriously, this is a worrying (and steadily increasing) phenomenon, particularly in computer science. An example that frequently tops lists of fake conferences is WORLDCOMP (see scathing critique here); agents purportedly representing this conference recently threatened the owner of the comp.compilers list that I follow.
Let’s be clear: these are not credible outlets for disseminating academic research, so how can we rid ourselves of these deceptive venues? Echoing the sentiments of Anthony, it will not be by exposing and condemning the organisers (potentially problematic from a libel perspective), but by systematically discouraging people from submitting. Spread the word.