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Computer Science and Technology
Four related, yet distinct, areas of technology in education are information technology, educational technology, information literacy, and computer science.
- Information technology (IT) includes network and servers and computer hardware and software maintenance and repair.
- Educational technology applies technologies and methods to improve teaching and student learning.
- Information literacy is "the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand" (from National Forum on Information Literacy).
- The academic study of Computer science is explained below.
Computer Science concepts are important for the development of our children. Computer science goes beyond using technology. It goes beyond keyboarding or using applications such as word processors, spreadsheets or databases. It goes beyond using computers to enhance learning in other academic disciplines (just having computers in the school does not teach students the fundamentals of computer science). Thinking that computer science is the same as technology is like thinking that English is the same as using books, or that Science is the same as using laboratory equipment.
An official description (from the Association for Computing Machinery) is "Computer science is the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society." This is a good description that requires knowledge of the concepts. It may be more helpful to know benefits for students.
Students who study computer science learn a number of vital skills that can be transferred to any subject area and contribute significantly to their performance as professionals:
- Problem solving skills: Problem definition, solution design, implementation, testing, revision; Creativity, perseverance, teamwork
- Design skills: Designing and working to specifications
- Logic and reasoning: The ability to analyze a problem and break it down into a logical sequence of steps
- Computational thinking: Drawing on fundamental concepts in computer science to analyze and solve problems; Thinking at multiple levels of abstraction
Take Computer Science
You Should Take Computer Science (CS):
- if you are interested in engineering, you should take CS. The University of Michigan College of Engineering requires computer science of ALL their students. Take CS322 for a head start, or CS433H for the AP knowledge and skills.
- if you are interested in physical sciences. Physical scientists often use computer programming in their work and as college students. Pre-college programming experience provides a competitive edge.
- if you are interested in expanding your knowledge for increased opportunities!
- if you are interested in web design & programming and/or digital video production. Have all the good web sites or videos been created? Of course not! Learn how to create your own web pages and sites with freedom from the usual preplanned methods.
- if you want make computers better for people. CS is the art and science of making computers better.
- if you are interested in programming. CS teaches programming.
- to create new things for computers do do for people. Computers need programs to do things. Enjoy the fun and creativity of programming. Using computers without learning programming is like reading without learning to write. Reading informs. Writing is creating. Programming is creating.
Computer Science is Important
- United States tech employment is growing: 17% more tech workers in US today than in the bubble days of 1999 (new study on Globalization and Off-shoring of Software by the Association of Computing Machinery)
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that US economy will add 1 million new tech jobs sover the next decade, a 30% increase.
- "Jobs that involve tailoring information technology to specific industries or companies, like software engineers who make applications and specialized systems, have grown. Total employment among information technology professionals, the government reports, reached nearly 3.5 million by the end of last year, surpassing the previous high in 2000, when the technology investment boom peaked," says Steve Lohr, NYT
- "If you only have technical knowledge, you are vulnerable, said Thomas W. Malone, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at MIT and the author of The Future of Work (Harvard Business School Press). But if you can combine business or scientific knowledge with technical savvy, there are a lot of opportunities. And it's a lot harder to move than kind of work offshore."
- According to Catherine L. Mann of the Institute for International Economics, "while there is no doubt that some IT jobs have moved abroad, such as those at technology companies, (but) more than two-thirds of workers with IT jobs do not work for high-tech companies. They design, modify, integrate and run the IT inside non-high-tech companies...from hotels and hospitals to agribusiness and apparel. These IT jobs are growing!"
- Demand has increased for workers with the IT skills necessary to design, customize and utilize IT applications, but it has fallen for commoditized IT skills (i.e. programming)...On the other hand, says Catherine Mann, "jobs held by applications and systems software engineers, network and systems analysts and administrators, and computer hardware engineers." have increased.
( From Computer Science Teachers Association )
DCDS Computer Science
See DCDS computer science courses.
Last modified 5/17/14 by B L Webster. © 2015 by B L Webster.