Conference Recap: 2016 New Directions in IT Education May 19-20
Advance IT Minnesota invited industry professionals and MnSCU faculty members and academic leaders to convene and explore emerging employer needs, identify specific implications for student learning outcomes, and map out actions that individual faculty and departments can implement, and identify comprehensive innovations to be developed collaboratively.
Notes on Day One
Keynote 1 by Nicole Forsgren on How DevOps is Transforming IT, and What it Can Do for Academia presented how the range of business and IT activities from development through operations have essentially converged and transformed businesses in the past decade. Nicole’s address strongly argued for inclusion of agile (small A) DevOps concepts, methodologies, processes and culture in formal academic curricula. Using stories and examples from well-known businesses and from personal experience, Nicole delivered an engaging and well-received keynote that has already kicked off collaborative work supported by Advance IT. To be posted here shortly … the recording and slides from the keynote.
Industry Panel: Mary Mosman, Heather Mickman, Bridget Kromhout and Nicole Forsgren on The Implications of the DevOps Transformation for Academia, andWomen in IT produced a frank and insightful interaction with the attendees. Video of the full session coming soon …
Session A1 | Equity in IT Education Discussion on was attended by faculty, administrators, and staff across the state interested in or engaged in various equity in education issues. A summary of this session coming soon …
Session B1 | Transferability issues ranging from 2- to 4-year college to university transition, developing transitional and transfer pathways from high school to college, as well as pathways for displaced workers to explore and enter IT and computing careers were discussed by attendees. Notes on this session coming soon …
Session C1 | Internet of Things (IoT) impact on academic disciplines session was effective in drawing a large pool of faculty and industry leaders who recognized the importance of this emerging phenomenon. The attendees engaged in wide-ranging discussion of what IoT is, what disciplines IoT touches directly (including non-IT disciplines such as engineering and manufacturing), and what types of skills and competencies need to be included in curricula across subject areas from computer science to IT infrastructure to databases. IoT was recognized as a subset of cyber physical systems (CPS). The discussion then moved to how IoT brings up concerns around privacy vs. security, public or organizational security vs. individual and consumer security, controls, systems compatibility, reliability, scale issues, AppDev pathways, topology of IoT domains and device/agent identifiers. Participants acknowledged there are really two distinct IoT worlds out there – industrial IoT versus consumer IoT. Finally, various ideas for potential projects and initiatives were put forth.
Special Session | Enterprise software education in MNSCU: A multifaceted opportunity & challenge was presented by Prof. David Bahn to attendees and invited local business leaders and professionals to develop enterprise software education programs across MnSCU and to discuss the various opportunities to build academic partnerships with regional businesses and demonstrate various academic alliance-like programs offered by enterprise application providers such as SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle.
Sessions A2, B2, and C2 | These sessions resulted in faculty projects being defined and members got started on a proposal to fund projects by Advance IT Minnesota.
The following were the three themes identified for the 2nd Annual New Directions in IT Education Conference and the rich program on both days:
A. Equity in IT Education
Improving equity and student success in career pathways is critically important to address the need to grow IT talent in Minnesota. The Conference will engage community and industry leaders to work on enhancing equitable access to and advancing success in IT pathways for underserved populations, especially non-traditional learners and women. Post-conference, Advance IT Minnesota will solicit and sponsor one or more collaborative projects in this space.
Participants will consider challenges to transferability between various IT and computing programs to explore and develop pathways from Associate to Bachelor’s degree programs across disciplines. These include application and web development (in support of the FUSION initiative), expansion of FUSION to other potential pathways like other CS programs and cybersecurity. Post-conference, Advance IT Minnesota will solicit and select one or more collaborative projects in this space.
C. Discipline Excellence – Impact of IoT
To seek further alignment with workforce needs, to advance success through industry collaboration, and to enhance faculty professional development and disciplinary collaboration, the Conference will engage faculty and industry leaders in a meaningful discussion to address emerging academic impact of the Internet of Things (IoT). Post-conference, Advance IT Minnesota will solicit and sponsor a more collaborative project in this space.