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IP: what does
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 00:43:47 -0400

The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of
the National Research Council is undertaking a project to=20
identify what everyone needs to know about information technology.=A0=20
A major part of CSTB's task is to develop a consensus for the=20
appropriate definitions of "everyone", "know", and "information=20
technology".


The committee responsible for this project is chaired by Larry
Snyder, professor of computer science and engineering at the
University of Washington.=A0 The full membership of the committee is
attached to the end of this note.


In order to collect input from the wider community, the committee
has developed a number of questions on which it seeks broad input.
These questions are directed at information technologists (e.g.,
computer and telecommunications scientists and engineers) and are
described below; sets of other questions will be addressed to
employers, educators, and other stakeholder groups.


=A0=A0=A0=A0 1 -- For purposes of this discussion, the committee
=A0=A0=A0=A0 provisionally distinguishes in a loose and informal way
=A0=A0=A0=A0 between fundamental concepts, applications of fundamental
=A0=A0=A0=A0 concepts, and engineering and design principles used in=
 applying
=A0=A0=A0=A0 concepts.=A0 To illustrate, a concept might be=20
=A0=A0=A0=A0 "instruction interpretation."=A0 An application of that concept
=A0=A0=A0=A0 might be "Java byte-code interpretation."=A0 An engineering
=A0=A0=A0=A0 principle might be "design under constraint" (e.g., designing
=A0=A0=A0=A0 a Java interpreter under the constraint of limited memory or
=A0=A0=A0=A0 bandwidth.")


=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 1a -- What are the fundamental concepts of=
 information
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 technology that an educated adult should know?=
=A0=20
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 (Interpret information technology broadly to=
 include
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 computing and communications.) For each concept:


=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 --=A0=A0 describe it;
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 --=A0 identify the age or educational level at=
 which you
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 believe it should first be introduced; and


=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 --=A0 explain how it might be introduced.


=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 1b -- What are the essential applications of the
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 fundamental concepts?


=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 1c -- What are the essential engineering and/or=
 design
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 principles relevant to information technology?


=A0=A0=A0=A0 For questions 1b and 1c, repeat the bullets under
=A0=A0=A0=A0 question 1a.


=A0=A0=A0=A0 2 -- How do you expect the essential concepts, applications,=
 and
=A0=A0=A0=A0 engineering/design principles described in your answers to=20
=A0=A0=A0=A0 change over time (as information technology evolves)?=A0 How=20
=A0=A0=A0=A0 should the pedagogical process deal with such changes?=A0 How
=A0=A0=A0=A0 can/should individuals be taught to learn about how to use
=A0=A0=A0=A0 new and never-before-seen computational artifacts (e.g., new
=A0=A0=A0=A0 applications, services, hardware devices, software packages)?


=A0=A0=A0=A0 3 -- How should concepts and skills be balanced in information
=A0=A0=A0=A0 technology literacy?=A0 How do/should concepts and skills
=A0=A0=A0=A0 complement each other in information technology literacy?
=A0=A0=A0=A0 How do they compete with each other?=A0 (In other words, how
=A0=A0=A0=A0 and to what extent is there a trade-off in learning about
=A0=A0=A0=A0 concepts versus skills?)=A0 [For purposes of this discussion,=
 the
=A0=A0=A0=A0 committee regards a "skill" as facility with a specific
=A0=A0=A0=A0 computational tool or artifact such as a spreadsheet.]


=A0=A0=A0=A0 4 -- How can individuals best learn the limitations of
=A0=A0=A0=A0 information technology?=A0 How can they learn to make informed
=A0=A0=A0=A0 personal/social/policy decisions about issues that involve
=A0=A0=A0=A0 information technology?


The committee invites you to submit your answers to these
questions in the form of a short position paper (5 pages or less); in
addition, please identify your field of expertise and your institutional
affiliation.=A0 All responses will be considered by the committee.=A0 In
addition, respondents may be invited to participate in a workshop to be
held in Irvine, California on January 15, 1998 whose purpose is to discuss
answers to these and other related questions.=A0 Or, they may be invited to
revise their position paper for inclusion in the committee's final report.


DEADLINES:


=A0 December 15, 1997, for those who wish to be considered for
participation in the workshop.


=A0 February 1, 1998 for those who wish their input to be considered
by the committee.


EMAIL ADDRESS FOR INPUT: IT-Lit () nas edu=A0 (This address should be active by
Friday, October 24, 1997)


FAX FOR INPUT: 202-334-2318


U.S. MAIL ADDRESS FOR INPUT:


=A0=A0=A0=A0 Dr. Herb Lin, Study Director
=A0=A0=A0=A0 CSTB
=A0=A0=A0=A0 National Research Council
=A0=A0=A0=A0 Room HA-560
=A0=A0=A0=A0 2101 Constitution Ave, NW
=A0=A0=A0=A0 Washington, DC 20418
=A0=A0=A0=A0 202-334-3191 voice


COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP


Larry Snyder, Chair, (University of Washington)
Andries van Dam (Brown University)
Al Aho (Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies)
Jeff Ullman (Stanford University)
Allen Tucker (Bowdoin College)
Marcia Linn (University of California at Berkeley)
Arnold Packer (Johns Hopkins University)=20






**************************************************
"Photons have neither morals nor visas"  --  Dave Farber 1994
**************************************************


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