SICSA Education Director

Repost from http://www.sicsa.ac.uk/blog/welcome-sicsa-education-director/.

In February, I took over as the SICSA Director of Education, a post which had been vacant since Dr Karen Petrie stepped down last year. Already I’ve been really busy, sitting on a number of advisory boards so far, and I’m only two weeks in! I’m currently a lecturer at the University of Dundee and have been a member of SICSA since 2008 in both Education and HCI. Most recently, I was the SICSA PhD Conference Academic Chair for 2017 in Dundee. This was a brilliant event sharing the future of SICSA and Computing Science in Scotland. This year the conference will be held at RGU – make sure you are signed up, it’s shaping up to be a great few days!

Personally, I have an interest in how social media can be used in education and how we can support our students to take part in group work. However, this is just a very small part of the excellent work being done within SICSA, including links with the SQA on curriculum development, flipped classroom methodologies, early-years computational thinking and involvement in outreach events such as The First Lego League. We have a great base of knowledge, enthusiasm and resources in Scotland to make sure that we are creating technologists of the future, and I’m so excited to be a part of it.

Like many of us, I have been supported by SICSA in many ways over my career, through funding for workshops, away days, all-hands meetings and travel costs. Now I can continue this support for others. I’m planning a great programme that will help us gather momentum as a community to share our ideas and experiences and collectively influence national policies on computing education. This includes a new lecturer induction, a call for workshops, schools engagement and an all-hands education event to showcase what we can do.

If you have any ideas of things that can be done to build the education community, then let me know. I am particularly keen to reach out to universities who may not have been able to engage with SICSA Education in the past, for whatever reasons. Contact me on r.menzies@dundee.ac.uk to get the ball rolling in your ideas. A call for workshop funding will follow in the next few weeks.

New degree – MSc AAC

The School of Psychology and School of Computing at the University of Dundee are proud to announce a new MSc course, due to begin in September 2013. The aims of this interdisciplinary course are to provide individuals with a psychology, computing, industry or clinical care background with a better understanding of the latest developments in: 1) the psychology of the development of language and communication; 2) the design ethnography of AAC solutions; 3) the engineering of AAC solutions; and 4) the effective evaluation of AAC solutions on an individual and group basis. However, the over-arching aim of the course is to provide individuals with sufficient research training to allow them to become effective scientist-practitioners.

For more information on the 12 month full-time course, check the course information page at http://wcm-stage.dundee.ac.uk/psychology/study/masters/mscaac/.

Scholarships are available for this course.

Fellows Scheme for Early Career Researchers

The University of Dundee has just announced a Fellows Scheme for early career researchers, http://www.dundee.ac.uk/dundeefellows/  There is specific interest is several research themes, including social inclusion:

Informatics for Social Inclusion encompasses diverse themes in Computing, all of which are united by the common thread that being human provides everyone with a special bond – a bond that technology can facilitate. We take social inclusion seriously, emphasizing that technology design should consider not just those who are early adopters of technology, but also those who through age or disability may have difficulty using technology. In addition, we consider the important role that technology can play in enabling enhanced quality of life through the use of technology supports.  For more information, seehttp://www.dundee.ac.uk/dundeefellows/schemeresearchthemes/

If you have additional questions, you can write either to Vicki Hanson, vlh@computing.dundee.ac.uk, or Annalu Waller, awaller@computing.dundee.ac.uk