Thanks to Amber and Inroads for the opportunity to contribute to this blog. As an information technology (IT) educator, it is encouraging when ACM practices inclusion of all computing disciplines, beyond just computer science, as it has with this invitation. I look forward to being part of a, hopefully, impactful and ongoing discussion of computing education.
My name is Mark Stockman, for the past eleven years I have served as a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati in the IT bachelors degree program. Prior to that, I worked in several computing capacities within industry (networking, software/web development, database management, systems administration, technical support, management). Also an active member of ACM’s Special Interest Group for IT Education (SIGITE) from its inception, I served as Chair of the SIG till summer of this year.
IT is an applied computing discipline. The membership of SIGITE has worked with ACM over the past several years to define the distinctiveness of IT within the spectrum of computing. In a nutshell, while computer scientists construct the software technologies and computer engineers build the hardware technologies, IT professionals develop strategies to deploy, integrate, secure, and administer computing technologies. For more details of how the disciplines are distinctive (and overlap) see the ACM Computing Curricula 2005, the ACM IT 2008 Curriculum Guidelines, or a summary produced by SIGITE.
My teaching revolves around the networking/systems side of IT rather than development, primarily teaching courses in the applied nature of system administration, cloud computing (server virtualization), cybersecurity, cyberforensics. The focus of my past research centered on the pedagogy of creating and delivering IT curriculum, specifically in the development and use of hands-on activities/labs.
More recently I have jumped into a cross-disciplinary academic path; now in the second year of a PhD program in Criminal Justice, specifically studying criminology and crime prevention with an emphasis on cybercrime. As a discipline that can impact many (most) others, IT research can move forward through domain induction like this. My hope is that this marriage of computing and criminology/crime prevention allows for substantial knowledge creation for cybersecurity.
Certainly, my background will influence what you will see from me on this blog. I hope you will speak up in the comments and/or through Twitter (@putrnrd). Discussion, even (especially) disagreement, is a great thing as we continue towards a common goal; the advancement and promotion of computing education.