Are you passionate about computer science education? Share a video message to celebrate Canadian Computing Education Day on Feb. 21

I am writing today not only as a CIPS member, but as chair of the outreach committee of the Canadian Association of Computer Science / Association d’Informatique Canadienne (CACS/AIC), which is organizing Canadian Computing Education (CanCompEd) Day on Feb 21.

To celebrate the event, we have undertaken a crowd-sourced video project.

Inspired by code.org‘s videos, especially their Hour of Code kickoff video that featured Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen, we’re inviting Canadians (wherever they may be) to submit short video segments (not more than about 30 seconds) talking about the importance of computing and computer science education in Canada.  You can find out all the details about the project at: http://www.CanCompEd.ca/2014video.

Links on that page will direct you to the great videos for inspiration, in case you aren’t sure what to say. Don’t worry if don’t have a videographer available. Your video messages captured on cellphones will also help to capture hearts and minds when the video is released on February 21. As you can see, there is no time to waste: make sure that your friends, family, and favourite celebrities and movers and shakers know about the video project. We welcome submissions from everyone, and especially encourage videos from:

  • people working with computing in jobs they love
  • students and teachers who might take this on as a class project

CACS/AIC,  whose members are the universities across Canada that offer Computer Science degree programs, has  been actively supporting computer science teachers  in each Canadian province and territory.  CACS/AIC is just one of many organizations concerned with computer science education in Canada.

Computer Science Education Week, focused on the U.S. though international in intent, is an important activity in Canada.  This year, many Canadians took part in the Hour of Code.  The anniversary of Grace Hopper’s birth is a great time to celebrate computer science education: I enjoy showing my students a youtube video of her appearance on a 1986 episode of Late Night with David Letterman.

A at many Canadian universities.   In several provinces, the week begins with a statutory holiday on the Monday.   The rationale is that universities without students are better able to host visitors from the surrounding community during open house events.

Last year, computer labs were full of kids eager to experiment with LEGO blocks and robots, arduino hardware, and vegetables as musical instruments using Makey Makey – all controlled by Scratch programs.  We suggested that Canadian Computing Education Day could also be known as Scratch Day Canada (since Scratch Day always seems to happen on a very important long weekend in Canada).  We will make the same suggestion this year – for all those Scratchers out there – and we will also have the wonderful resources from code.org and the Hour of Code that will be sure to provide even more excitement with kids of all ages.

Do you have a message to share with the rest of Canada?  Please put it in a video and send it along! A version of this post appeared in the Computer Science Teachers Association blog

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