New Article: Computational Thinking and Expository Writing in the Middle School

Ursula Wolz, Meredith Stone, Kim Pearson, Sarah Monisha Pulimood, and Mary Switzer. 2011. Computational Thinking and Expository Writing in the Middle School. Trans. Comput. Educ. 11, 2, Article 9 (July 2011), 22 pages. DOI=10.1145/1993069.1993073 ABSTRACT To broaden participation in computing we need to look beyond traditional domains of inquiry and expertise. We present results […]

Sidebar: Learning about learning – a conversation with Deborah Tatar

Deborah Tatar is a cognitive scientist at Virginia Polytechnic University whose current research focuses on understanding and clearing the obstacles to student learning in mathematics and science. For example, she was a principal investigator on the SimCalc project, a software-based interactive math curriculum for middle schoolers that has shown demonstrable success when accompanied by professional […]

From the NSF CE21 community meeting: Meet Lily Fae Pierre

I spent the last several days in New Orleans with 400 computer science educators, education researchers and policy makers at the National Science Foundation’s CE 21 community meeting. CE 21 is a new initiative to boost K-16 computer science education. Central to that effort is a commitment to strengthen computer science curricula and teaching at […]

What is a computational journalist?

A friend posed this question on Facebook in response to my last blog post, and I was tempted to respond, “We’re still figuring it out.” Then I was tempted to be glib and say, “It’s CAR (computer assisted reporting) on the Information Superhighway.” There’s a sense in which both of these statements are true, and yet, there are some things that can be said with some degree of confidence.

Bringing interactive journalism into the middle school: A conversation with Laura Fay

Laura Fay is a Reading teacher at Fisher Middle School in Ewing, New Jersey. For the last three years, she has been an active collaborator in the Interactive Journalism Institute for Middle Schoolers (, a demonstration project at The College of New Jersey funded by the National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation in Computing Program. (CNS […]

Scholastic Journalism Education as a Tool for Teaching Computational Thinking

Greg Linch’s April 30, 2010 post at the Publish2 blog improves upon my May 2009 post on computational thinking in journalism by placing it in the context of the larger conversation about the skills and habits of mind that journalists now need. He also offers helpful suggestions about specific computer science concepts that journalists ought to understand. […]

When artists and scientists collide: Steve Harrison on collaboration

Steve Harrison is an architect by training whose work in academia and industry has crossed into engineering, computer science and interactive media. He is also a provocative thinker about the value of cross-disciplinary collaboration in research and teaching. Steve is also my co-PI on the CPATH Distributed Expertise Project funded by the National Science Foundation. […]