CS & IT 2012–Participate Actively!

Back in the end of November I posted the call for proposals for the 12th Annual Computer Science & Information Technology Conference. Did you see it? Have you been thinking about a proposal? have you submitted a proposal yet? The deadline is rapidly approaching (January 31st 2012 is the deadline) So you  still have time but you do need to act soon. Ok so you ay be thinking “what could I present on?” or perhaps “I’m not a professional presenter? or even “I’m not good enough to present to that audience.” If so the only thing you really have to worry about is picking a topic. Let me give a few suggestions before I tackle the other concerns.

  • Are you doing something different than what you have heard about from others and finding it works for you? Bingo! Great topic. Everyone is looking for new ideas. That is far better than rehashing the same old ideas.
  • Are you teaching a new programing language, development tool or IDE? Great! People what to learn about new things from people who use them.
  • Are you doing special things to attract more students? Especially girls and other underserved populations? Super! We’re all looking for ways to do that.
  • Have you gone against the grain in some way – dropped APCS, added gaming, or media, or mixed in art/music/social studies/what not with CS? Love to hear about it. multidisciplinary things are the future!
  • Are you playing with hardware? Kinect, robots, remote sensors, something weird and off the wall? Tell us about it. We need ideas for connecting the real and virtual worlds for students.
  • Nothing on this match what you are doing! Best answer yet! Out of the box is in fashion.

Now for the rest. If you are a classroom teacher you ARE a professional presenter. Period. End of story. If you can hold the attention of a room full of fidgety middle or high school students you can hold anyone’s attention. You’re good to go. And for this audience nothing resonates like actual classroom experience. The audience at CS & IT is the most open and supportive audience a computer science or information technology teacher can have! This is fun people. The questions will be good ones and be respectful in nature. People are there to learn and that is the best sort of audience of all. You can do it. And we all want to see new faces and hear new voices. So go for it.

If you are still not submitting a presentation you can also be active in other ways. Help Shape the CSTA Annual Conference: Be a Proposal Reviewer IF you’ve ever asked yourself “who approved that talk?” or “why are their no talks on <foo>” then this is your chance to influence the paper selections. We want in fact need the community to be a part of the review process. We all want the best papers to be excepted and that requires multiple fair and honest reviews by practitioners – ie. people like the teachers who attend CS & IT.

And lastly don’t forget that the 12th Annual Computer Science & Information Technology Conference will be held July 9-10 2012, in Irvine, CA (Orange County). Hope to see you there!

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