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Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE)


CAITE designs and carrys out comprehensive programs that address under-representation in information technology (IT).

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CAITE Highlight

Educators Learn New Approaches to Intro Computing

Some thirty educators turned out this July to learn new approaches to teaching that may open up the field of computer science to students who may not initialy be inclined to think of themselves as computing types.

The Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) along with the Commonwealth Information Technology Initiative (CITI) hosted two professional development workshops for educators this July in collaboration with NSF BPC Alliance Georgia Computes! Both workshops were led by Mark Guzdial, Associate Professor in the College of Comuting at Georgia Institute of Technology and PI of Georgia Computes!

Twenty-three faculty and teachers participated in a three-day workshop at Microsoft’s facility in Waltham, MA. “Introduction to the Media Computation Approach” explored a fresh aproach to teaching introductory computing in Python, Java and data structures using Mark Guzdial’s dynamic Media Computation approach to teaching.

Later that week, Guzidal led a two-day workshop titled “Innovative Aproaches to First Courses in Computing” at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Computer Science building. This workshop presented five different approaches to introducing computing to students, all approaches that focus on a particular context and have been successful at attracting and retaining women and minority students.

Enthusiasm for Mark Guzdial’s work is so great that CAITE received requests for registration from as far away as Kuwait and South Africa. Both workshops were overenrolled with eighteen institutions represented at the “Media Computation” workshop and eleven represented at the “First Courses” workshop. Professors joining in from such institutions as Wellesly, Smith and each of the UMass campuses,  as well as from Maine, Maryland, New York, and Connecticut were energized and ready to jump into a fresh semester with students who will be entering their first years in computing.