National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
The Computational Thinking in STEM Education
Computational thinking (CT) is considered to as one of the most important skills in 21st Century. Nowadays, many countries have stressed the CT competence as an essential skill for digital natives, not just for computer scientists. Therefore, how to cultivate students the competence of CT becomes an emerging issue confronting current education. While facing increasingly complex world, it is more important than ever for young generation be prepared to bring broad knowledge and skills to solve complicated problems. Those skills students develop include science, technology, engineering and math, disciplines collectively known as STEM. From a report of U.S. department of Education, it stresses that “no matter where children live, they have access to quality learning environment. A child’s zip code should not determine their STEM fluency”. As the CT becomes an essential ability, we believe it can be employed across various fields and disciplines, serving as a basis to STEM education. For short, CT can serve as instructional scaffolding for problem solving in STEM Education and it should be fused into STEM projects being conducted.
Ray Yueh-Min Huang is a Chair Professor in Department of Engineering Science, National Cheng-Kung University, Taiwan. His research interests include e-Learning, multimedia communications, and artificial intelligence. He received his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arizona in 1988 and 1991 respectively. He has co-authored 3 books and has published more than 280 refereed journal research papers in the area above.
Dr. Huang has received many research awards, such as Taiwan’s National Outstanding Research Award in 2011 and 2014, given to Taiwan’s top 100 scholars. According to a paper published in BJET, he is ranked no. 3 in the world on terms of the number of educational technology papers published in the period 2012 to 2017. He has completed over 60 Ph.D. and 250 MS thesis students. He received many funded research grants from National Science Council, Ministry of Education, Industrial Technology of Research Institute, and Institute of Information Industry. Dr. Huang has been invited to give talks or served frequently in the program committee at national and international conferences.
Dr. Huang is in the editorial board of several international journals in the area of educational technology, computer communications, and web intelligence, including 3 SSCI-indexed e-Learning ones. In e-Learning area, except of publishing more than 100 SSCI-indexed journal papers and editing 3 special issues in SSCI-indexed journals, he was also serving as the directors of Disciplines of Applied Science Education and Innovative Engineering Education in Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Dr. is also the funding chair of International Symposium of Emerging Technologies for Education (SETE) and International Conference of Innovative Technologies and Learning (ICITL). Dr. Huang is a senior member of the IEEE and became Fellow of British Computer Society in 2011.
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece / Khalifa University of Science and Technology, UAE
CARITAS Coimbra, Portugal
University of Birmingham, UK
Moving STEM content online: Best practices to ensure accessibility
The Web is everywhere and everything is on the Web. This is true for nearly
every aspect of life, including the sciences. Both in teaching and research, using printed paper is already rare and the use of electronic formats that model print, like PDF or RTF, is getting rarer as well.
This is a great opportunity for accessibility: the days of proprietary formats, individual desktop applications, and specialist software is over. Everything can be presented in a single medium, using common and open standards, allowing us to provide homogenous accessibility solutions even for very heterogeneous content, such as formulas, charts, graphs, and diagrams. Consequently material is not only available but also accessible anywhere, anytime, and in particular affordable and on any platform.
The COVID pandemic has only accelerated this trend, forcing all faculty to focus on how to deliver courses online. However, hastily moving material online bears the risk that important accessibility considerations are neglected, threatening fair and inclusive education for all. This is especially true for mathematics and other STEM fields where complex structures such as equations and diagrams play an integral role.
In my talk I will present a number of solutions for making STEM content
accessible fully automatically. In particular I will concentrate on how the
generation and embedding of rich semantic information allows for a single
representation format that can cater for learners with a variety of special
needs. I will argue that the Web is the ideal platform for hosting and curating modern maths content regardless of their original sources like LaTeX, Word, or plain text. And I will demonstrate how their accessibility can be practically a free byproduct of conversion from traditionally authored content. I will then focus on the transformation of STEM diagrams and data visualisations into accessible online graphics, from various sources ranging from bitmap images to statistical models. Finally, I will discuss ways of authoring, preparing, and teaching with accessible STEM documents on the Web, highlighting some of the best practices.
Volker Sorge has studied Mathematics, Computer Science and Philosophy at the University of Würzburg, University of Texas at Austin, and University
Saarbrücken. He holds Research Masters in Mathematics and a PhD in Computer
Science (Computational Logic).
Volker Sorge is Professor in Document Analysis and Accessibility at the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, UK. He leads the Scientific Document Analysis group whose research primarily focuses on mathematical document analysis, diagram recognition and handwriting recognition.
For many years Volker has worked on Maths accessibility. As a visiting scientist at Google he integrated mathematics support into the ChromeVox screen reader. As a member of the MathJax consortium he has worked on formula accessibility on the web. Most recently, in collaboration with the PreTeXt group, the NFB and the American Institute of Mathematics he contributed to the automatic transcription of LaTeX textbooks into tactile Braille books.
Volker also manages Progressive Accessibility Solutions (progressiveaccess.com), a start-up company that is focusing on exploiting pattern recognition and image analysis technology for automatically making STEM diagrams accessible for use in teaching and science.