This network initiative will support the consolidation of the current research, and build Nordic and Baltic networks to support research focusing on computing teacher education. There are many groups and individuals working in the computing education research field in the Nordic and Baltic countries.
However, most individual groups are too small to organize enough activities which address relevant theories, methods and research practices in computing teacher education.
A specific focus of research will be, at least during the initial phase of the network, introductory programming (which is internationally-recognized as a problematic domain) and collaborative learning of computing. In these areas, Nordic research is already strongly positioned and we have already identified a number of opportunities to consolidate this work during an early stage of the network.
The network is based on existing computing education research groups with an interest to contribute to a leading position in Europe as well as globally. There is a strong motivation to start the network and to continue the network after the funding period. The purpose of the network is to allow individual units join forces to perform internationally-outstanding research in computing education at all levels. The ultimate aims of these activities are pragmatic: to improve education in computer science and related areas, and, as a consequence, to enhance teaching and learning in computing. To reach these goals, we intend to increase the collaboration among our research groups through the use of the following mechanisms:
Mentoring platform. We introduce a platform to promote sharing of expertise among the groups in the network. The mentoring platform can be implemented through short academic visits;
Workshops. We organize two workshops per year for teachers together with researchers from partner universities. We focus on computing education and innovative use of technologies.
Annual roundtable (meetings). We organize an annual roundtable that focuses on discussions of new questions and methodologies within computing teacher education. The roundtable is intended mainly for HEIs teachers and advanced students. It will serve as a platform for the exchange of new ideas in computing teacher education which mainly focus on the dissemination of good practices;
Sub-networks. We encourage the network participants to form smaller thematic sub-networks on national computing or ICT teacher education questions;
Publication culture. We strengthen the publication culture within the Nordic and Baltic countries through supporting the journal Informatics in Education, which is listed, e.g., in Inspec;
Collaboration with HEIs and schools with other educational institutions within each partner country.
The Network development strategy includes its extension and involvement of new partners as HEIs, other educational organizations as well as each Network co-founder’s activities for Network development in its own country, planning and holding a short meeting for inclusion of new partners and dissemination of results and information on the local level. The Network administrative meetings install the cooperation and communication channels, and support the development of the Network.