Happy Computer Science Education Week!

Join us in celebrating the fifth annual Computer Science Education Week (CSEDWeek) December 8-14, 2014.

CSEdWeek is an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. Conceived by the Computing in the Core coalition and produced this year by Code.org, it commemorates computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper’s birthday. Supported by the U.S. Congress, CSEdWeek partners also include Microsoft, Google, Intel, and many other organizations.

For the second year in a row, Hour of Code is the theme of Computer Science Education Week. Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries. Designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics, Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science that nurtures problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity to provide a solid foundation for success in any 21st century career path.

Jones & Bartlett Learning recognizes the critical role of Computer Science in education, and offers new and trusted resources for the study, instruction, and practice of Computer Science. From introductory computer science to programming, information security, and game development, we provide instructors and professionals with superior texts and quality resources developed by respected authors and educators. At Jones & Bartlett Learning we are committed to providing industry-leading solutions for superior student learning outcomes.

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Donation from Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Baller Allows Harvard to Expand Computer Science Program

Keeping on trend with most universities and colleges around the country, demand for computer science courses at Harvard University has been increasing exponentially over the past few years. To keep up with the demand for its fastest growing major, Harvard will increase computer science faculty by 50 percent thanks to a gift from Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corp’s biggest shareholder and former CEO. Ballmer’s donation will allow Harvard to hire 12 new instructors, bringing the size of the computer science faculty to 36.

Ballmer, who graduated from the university in 1977, has been in talks with Harvard President Drew Faust since he retired from Microsoft last year. “It’s clear to me that Harvard really could build a computer science department for the

Steve Ballmer

future,” he said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg.com “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to seize the day.” Harvard is building additional facilities for computer science education in Allston, a Boston neighborhood near the main campus in Cambridge, which will allow for instructors to interact more with students.

According to Bloomberg.com, Introduction to Computer Science I (CS50) is the most popular computer science course at Harvard. In fact, it is so popular that faculty from Harvard’s chief rival, Yale University, recently voted to bring the undergraduate course to their school.

As interest in computer science continues to grow, Jones & Bartlett Learning is committed to providing industry-leading solutions. From introductory computer science to programming, and information security to game development, we strive to provide instructors and professionals with superior texts and quality resources developed by respected authors and educators. To learn more, visit our website, or contact your Account Specialist today.

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Is the “Geek” Label Alienating Women in Computer Science?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10-year job outlook for all 12 major Computer Science and Information Technology Occupations will increase by 13-37%, most of which is much faster than the national average. Yet, while the field is growing and overall enrollment is up at most major universities, only about 18% of computer science and engineering majors are women. Why is that?

One answer is the trend of associating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) with the word “geek”. For example, CNN recently published a story entitled, “5 Reasons Technology World Needs More Geek Girls”.  Another instance is a mobile GeekBus that travels to schools to increase STEM education in children and women. This image continues through a recent “We the Geeks” White House initiative designed to highlight the future of STEM through Google+ Hangouts. However, this approach may actually be deterring many women from the technology field.

Girls_Who_Code_1In a recent Washington Post article, Tricia Barry, director of the Women in Engineering Program at The University of Texas at Austin, argues that the geek language needs to be eliminated in order to include and engage girls in the STEM fields.

“Using a socially awkward loner as a symbol for STEM isn’t an effective method for attracting girls to these fields. In fact, it’s counterproductive. To fill these jobs, we need young women to discover how their own skills and passions apply to STEM. But we risk isolating many by suggesting that these careers are only for people who embrace their inner geek. We should be showing young women that they can love science and math while also being fun and social people with broad interests.”

Many organizations, Barry points out, are reaching out to girls to attract them to STEM in a positive way. Million Women Mentors is an engagement campaign and national call to action to recruit women to mentor girls and young women in STEM. MentorNet and FabFems both strive to connect girls with inspiring women who can share their job experiences and lives outside their STEM careers. These, along with other groups, recognize the importance of diverse and inspiring STEM role models to engage girls in these fields by creating a welcoming environment.

Jones & Bartlett Learning encourages women of all ages to study and succeed at Computer Science by offering a wide selection of texts that improve learning outcomes and provide career readiness. For more information or to view our Computer Science texts, visit jblearning.com/computing.

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Code.org Launches New Campaign to Introduce 100 Million Students to Coding in One Year

Code.org launched its first crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo last month with the goal of providing 100 million students worldwide with the opportunity to study computer science for one hour every day. The project, called An Hour of Code For Every Student, needs  $5,000,000 in order to accomplish this goal, and Code.org plans to match every donation dollar for dollar, up to $2,500,000.

According to Code.org’s campaign website, 90% of schools still don’t teach computer science. “Our schools teach kids how to dissect a frog and how weather works. Today, it’s equally fundamental to learn to ‘dissect an app’, or how the Internet works. Every young person deserves basic knowledge of how the world works around them and how to build technology that’s changing the world.”

The nonprofit has already built the courses, but the additional money will provide in-person training for teachers and will allow them to add computer science to their course schedule. Beyond introducing one hour of computer science to 100 million students, Code.org will help millions continue to learn online or in schools by establishing permanent courses and training teachers.

The images below demonstrate the impact of the $5,000,000, and how those funds will be used. Currently, the campaign has raised $2,383,962 and will end on December 14.

Jones & Bartlett Learning recognizes the critical role of Computer Science in education, and offers new and trusted resources for the study, instruction, and practice of Computer Science. From introductory computer science, to programming, information security, and game development, we provide instructors and professionals with superior texts and quality resources developed by respected authors and educators.


 

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Which IT profession is right for you?

The IT sector offers an unusually wide and varied job range, which can suit people with different personalities, preferences and studentscodingtechnical skills. In order to make the right decisions when setting up your IT career path, it’s essential to have an idea about what various jobs entail and which of them will be demanded in the future. Here’s a selection of the most interesting and profitable careers in IT.

Network administrator

The job of a network administrator is simple, but important – he’s hired to install, support and manage all networks and information system that allow for a smooth flow of information. Network administrators boast a wide variety of technical skills – they’re responsible for both hardware and software aspects of a network. They basically set up, optimize and secure the newly established networks. They also ensure that networks are optimized to be most available and efficient.

Web developer

Web development is an umbrella term for activities that range from developing web applications to creating web pages and web content. A career in web development requires the knowledge of coding (Java, HTML), but can also involve less technical skills, such as user experience and graphic design. In general, great web developers are able to do many different tasks: trace the workings of an operating system, know the mechanisms that govern user’s experience with a website, manipulate it to drive specific user behaviors and follow the hottest trends in web design.

Software engineer

Software engineers are the guys who create our programs and games. Just like web development, software engineering is a varied field. The hottest area right now is mobile app development, for instance. If you’ve got a creative bone in your body, software engineering will give you a chance to apply your skills and create beautiful and captivating apps and games. In order to launch your career, you’ll need a breathtaking portfolio and some previous experience on the job.

Mobile application developer

This is a hot area of software development that merits a spot of its own. If you have a firm grasp of basic coding languages, you’ll surely be able to build and deploy apps for iOS and Android operating systems. Due to the growing use of mobile devices, the sector is expected to surpass traditional PC programming – during the next few years, you can expect more and more companies hiring mobile app devs for various purposes. To launch your career in the field, you’ll need a strong background in coding (JavaScript, Ruby, Objective-C) and some experience in mobile app development projects.

Cloud architect

Cloud architects basically order and give a form to all the storage space that companies set up in the cloud. Due to the increasing reliance on the cloud, the demand for cloud architects is on the rise. Curiously, cloud architects are the ones to eventually receive one of the fattest paychecks in IT departments. To become a cloud architect, you’ll need to have a firm grasp on all technical skills required for the job.

Data specialist

Companies and consumers produce petabytes of data, and all of it needs to be stored and made sense of by ventures who want to accurately predict consumer behavior and apply it in their strategies. The sector of data management is expanding to include non-commercial applications in industries like healthcare or public services. Every data specialist must know how to model data – create data designs and define relationships between data fields.

The list above by no means exhausts the professional paths available in the IT field. Due to the characteristically rapid development of the industry and the growing tendency for outsourcing some of its sectors, it’s possible that some IT professions will become less demanded and new ones will boom together with the radical changes in the ways in which users interact with information technologies.

Tess Pajaron is a Community Manager at Open Colleges, an online learning provider based in Sydney, Australia. She has a background in Business Administration and Management.

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Now Available: Navigate 2 Advantage Access for Programming and Problem Solving with C++: Comprehensive, Sixth Edition

Are you looking for a new way to engage and compel students in C++? Award-winning duo, Nell Dale and Chip Weems, offers the clearest and most comprehensive introductory C++ text with Programming and Problem Solving with C++: Comprehensive, Sixth Edition. With a student-centered, pragmatic, and hands-on approach, the text makes even the most difficult concepts in computer science programming accessible to all students. Comprehensive and student-friendly, Programming and Problem Solving with C++, Sixth Edition is the definitive text for introductory computer science programming courses.

What makes this best-selling text even better is that it is now available with Navigate 2 Advantage Access that unlocks a comprehensive and interactive eBook, student practice activities and assessments, a full suite of instructor resources, and learning analytics reporting tools. Contact your Account Specialist for bundling options.

Interested in learning more? Visit our website or try a demo of Nell Dale’s award-winning Programming and Problem Solving with C++: Comprehensive, Sixth Edition today!

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Open Source Software Hopes to Benefit Humanity

Research has started to provide strong evidence that students who find meaning and significance in their studies are more engaged and driven to master the material at hand. Students participating in the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS), also known as Software for Humanity, can attest to that theory firsthand.

Established in 2007, HFOSS is a collaborative, community-building project of Free and Open Source Software to benefit humanity. What started at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut has now spread to a dozen of East Coast schools, bringing together ambitious students eager to solve real-world problems with social service agencies in need of help.

According to a recent profile of the organization by Slate, HFOSS is offering real-world humanitarian missions that have benefitted from free computer programming services. For example, “in Haiti, a nonprofit organization called ACDI/VOCA uses an app developed by student coders to track data on recipients of food rations. In China, volunteers assisting the victims of an earthquake were managed via a computerized system programmed by college students. And in Rwanda, doctors employ an electronic medical record system, created in part by U.S. undergraduates, to monitor the spread of malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis.”

One of the goals of HFOSS is to appeal to more students by showing them the significant impacts that computer science can have around the world. They want to attract a more diverse group of young people whose interest might be piqued more by the prospect of helping other in need rather than just learning programming for its own sake.

Aside from the personal fulfillment, HFOSS students are gaining real-world experience for future employers, something that is often difficult to achieve. Students can also network with industry professionals, such as consultants from Accenture, who volunteer their time to mentor and advise students working on HFOSS projects.

Another reward from participating in HFOSS is a more significant learning experience and the sence that they are contributing to a cause much bigger than themselves. Once students recognize the value of their academic work, research shows that they become more engrossed in the material and are more compelled to learn. Chris Hulleman, a Research Associate Professor of Education at the University of Virginia, writes that this effective approach to learning encourages students to “generate their own connections and discover for themselves the relevance of course materials to their lives.”

As interest continues to grow in computer science, Jones & Bartlett Learning provides a wide selection of texts that improve learning outcomes and provide career readiness. For more information or to view our Computer Science texts, visit jblearning.com/computing.

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Proposed California Bill Would Allow Computer Science Classes to Fulfill Undergrad Math Requirements

By 2018, 1.1 million Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs will need to be filled in California, nearly half of which will be computing related. With Computer Science becoming increasingly important in many industries, one California lawmaker is trying to help high school students better prepare for their future success.studentscoding

Democratic California State Senator, Alex Padilla, recently introduced Senate Bill 1200 which would allow high school Computer Science courses to satisfy certain Math requirements at the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU). The bill also calls on UC and CSU to create guidelines for high school computing courses that fulfill the mathematics subject area requirements for undergraduate admission.

If signed by Governor Jerry Brown, this bill would help “build upon fundamental mathematics content provided in courses that align with the academic content standards developed by the commission.”

Senator Padilla told a local radio station that “California is failing to prepare its students for a job market that will need to fill hundreds of thousands of computing-related jobs in the next five years.” For example, only 1 of 1,300 high schools in California currently offers an approved computer science course. All other computing classes are electives. Since many jobs require some amount of computer science knowledge, this bill seeks to align educational requirements with today’s workforce needs.

As interest in computer science continues to grow and transform education, Jones & Bartlett Learning is committed to providing industry-leading solutions in Computer Science. From introductory computer science to programming, and information security to game development, we provide instructors and professionals with superior texts and quality resources developed by respected authors and educators.  For more information, or to view our Computer Science texts, visit jblearning.com/computing.

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Introducing an All New Fourth Edition of Anderson’s Java Illuminated: An Active Learning Approach

Anderson_NavAre you looking for the perfect introductory Java programming text that includes free access to a comprehensive and interactive eBook, student practice activities and assessments, a full suite of instructor resources, and learning analytics reporting tools? Look no further! The fourth edition of Julie Anderson and Hervé Franceschi’s Java Illuminated: An Active Learning Approach Includes Navigate 2 Advantage Access is now available.

Comprehensive but accessible, the text takes a progressive approach to object-oriented programming, allowing students to build on established skills to develop new and increasingly complex classes. Java Illuminated follows an activity-based active learning approach that ensures student engagement and interest. The Fourth Edition now includes techniques for producing graphical output and animations using both applets and graphical applications. Packed with real-world applications and student activities, Java Illuminated, Fourth Edition will draw students in to the world of programming.

Every new, printed copy includes access to Navigate 2. With Navigate 2, technology and content combine to expand the reach of your classroom. Whether you teach an online, hybrid, or traditional classroom-based course, Navigate 2 delivers unbeatable value. Experience Navigate 2 today at www.jblnavigate.com/2.

Take a first look inside the Fourth Edition by viewing a sample chapter on the catalog page.

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