Samuel Mann is a New Zealand computer scientist, with interests in computer science education and sustainability. He is a full Professor at Otago Polytechnic. He has published widely on sustainable practice, both in computing and more generally to apply to any discipline. Mann was educated at the University of Otago where he studied botany and geography, before completing a PhD in Information Science.
If computing education is going to positively contribute to the future of New Zealand, it needs to come to terms with its responsibility in decolonisation.
But there are poorly understood tensions between computing as a coloniser and computing as an enabler of change - and the same could be said for education. While there has been some discussion in international indigenous literatures, there has been little written in an Aoteroa context.
In this paper we consider the first role of computing as a colonising and decolonising force, and then add computing education to this framework. We use a fictional ethnography, telling stories of The Boy - a fictionalised rangatahi from a rural Bay of Plenty community. His challenges and opportunities, along with the failings of the system, bring light to questions of the role of computing education in making or breaking his future.
This research will provide the impetus for change for computing educators to make a conscious choice in design of education and in dealings with young people and their futures such that computing education is a positive force in decolonisation.
Mawera Karetai (with Samuel Mann)
At CITRENZ 2020 we described the experiences of teaching computing education during the Global Covid-19 pandemic.
Tertiary IT educators shared their experiences and approaches through prepared narratives of their teaching experiences and responded to a set of prompts designed to elicit reflection on themes including drivers, opportunities and challenges.
Three themes emerged from the narratives presented - tailoring engagement, pastoral care, and learning for the next disruption.
In this current paper we focus on those changes that have stuck - that have become embedded in practice. We describe a collective reflective process of exploring the themes and practices one year on from the initial disruption and ask “what has stuck?” And what has continued to change as the global pandemic continues to disrupt normal patterns of life and teaching?
Last year we concluded that there needs to be a focus on maintaining a positive approach to learning, even improved outcomes in some instances. We asked the question “how can we translate this positive approach into everyday practice so that relatively minor upsets that might otherwise derail someone’s learning and career can be seen as learning opportunities?” and we revisit this question with more reflection from the lived experience of our educators.
Samuel Mann (with Hamish Smith)