12 Mar 2018   |   Network Updates   |   Update from ACM Europe
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Technology and education leaders announce strategy for providing informatics education to all students in Europe

The Association for Computing Machinery’s ACM Europe Council and Informatics Europe have joined forces to develop, “Informatics for All: The Strategy,” a comprehensive and ambitious plan to establish Informatics as an essential discipline for students in Europe at all levels throughout the educational system. Learning Informatics will enable all students to understand, participate in, influence and contribute to the development of the digital world in general, and will provide a significantly improved opportunity for recruiting and educating the large number of IT specialists Europe needs to maintain and improve its position in the digital world economy.

“Informatics for All: The Strategy,” will be the focus of a panel discussion of leading Informatics educators, computer scientists and European Commission leaders at the Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place on 15 March 2018, 16:30 – 17:30. Panelists will discuss the initiative, its implementation and the near-term future of Informatics education in Europe.

Panelists include:

  • Dame Wendy Hall (Moderator), Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, England
  • Michael E. Caspersen, Managing Director of It-vest - networking universities, and Honorary Professor of Computer Science at Aarhus University
  • Georgi Dimitrov, Deputy Head of Unit Innovation and EIT, EU Commission DG Education
  • Judith Gal-Ezer, Professor Emerita of The Open University of Israel
  • Enrico Nardelli, Professor of Informatics at the Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”
  • Alexander Riedl, Head of Unit Digital Economy and Skills, EU Commission DG CONNECT

“Informatics for All: The strategy” was guided by two key precepts: (1) Informatics must be introduced as a specialized and independent subject in school from the early years onwards; and (2) Informatics must also be integrated into the teaching of all school subjects.
The report asserts that teaching Informatics to all will require a fresh approach, and outlines the vital need to develop fine-grained curricula that progressively build appropriate knowledge and skills; well-educated teachers at all levels; and additional research to understand exactly what to teach, how to teach it, and when to teach it.

Recognizing the diverse and decentralized nature of Europe, implementation of Informatics education will fall to each country and its relevant educational authority. However, the report notes that, within each country, experts from the ACM Europe Council, Informatics Europe, professional societies, and industry will come together and provide advice on the way forward.

“Informatics for All: The Strategy” builds on an earlier report jointly developed by the ACM Europe Council and Informatics Europe, “Informatics Education in Europe: Are We All in the Same Boat?” which presented the state of relevant education and related teacher training across Europe. Its conclusions highlighted the serious need for an initiative to ensure that Informatics is properly recognised within the educational systems so that Europe is well placed to compete globally in reaping the benefits that flow from Informatics.

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