Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What Are You Reading?

We all get asked this question – What are you reading? Often this is the context of an interview and the person asking is really asking “how are you keeping current in your field?” For computer science educators there are few things better to read than SIGCSE papers. Right now the Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education are open for download. I think they’re only open (FREE) to non-members for a few more days. The conference closes this Saturday.

I’ve been downloading anything and everything that looks interesting or useful to me as a high school CS teacher and as someone interested in learning more about the field. I have about 35 papers downloaded. It’s going to take me a while to read them all.

I am a member of ACM and SIGCSE so I will be getting these papers in hard copy so you might wonder why I am downloading PDFs. The short answer is that I lose paper documents but I have a lot of room to store soft copy. And I confess that I want to start reading now.

I can’t make it to SIGCSE (it started today BTW) but I will be following Tweets and other social media updates. Having the papers available will help me understand what is going on better.

So are you taking advantage of paywall free access to SIGCSE proceedings? What other places do you go to learn what others are doing?


Anonymous said...

For a high school CS teacher that can maybe get to one conference every 2 or 3 years, which conference is best, SIGCSE, CSTA, something else?

Alfred Thompson said...

I think CSTA is the best conference for K-12 CS educators. Five years ago it might have been SIGCSE but the way CSTA has grown (more days, more sessions, more people) it is my must attend. SIGCSE is still more higher ed focused and while their are things for HS it is mostly the high end of HS CS. There is a growing exhibit hall at CSTA which lets one have some great conversations because it is not the zoo of ISTE or the higher ed focus of SIGCSE.

ISTE is a great conference and has more CS than it used to but I still think CSTA is better. I attend ISTE but for more than just the CS pieces. I bring stuff back for other departments and the tech coordinator people. Plus my wife who is a library/media specialist gets a ton of value there.