ACCE/ACS Leader of the Year

katrina.falknerHead of School, Associate Professor Katrina Falkner, has been awarded the Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE) and Australian Computer Society (ACS) Leader of the Year award. This national award recognises outstanding leadership in the use of ICT in education and, in particular, Associate Professor Falkner’s significant advocacy, support and promotion of ICT in education.

Martin Levins, President of ACCE, commented: “This award acknowledges the work of educational leaders and innovators who have made a significant contribution to the use of ICT in education through advocacy, support and promotion of the effective use of ICT in Education”

Katrina’s work in Computer Science Education is internationally renowned, through contribution of education research outcomes improving global understanding of how we teach Computer Science, industry­based work in understanding the impact of technology on diversity and culture, and in more recent work in supporting Australian teachers through the CSER Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Under Katrina’s leadership, the Computer Science Education Research (CSER) Group at the University of Adelaide has developed free online professional development courses, with accompanying sustainable online communities.

These ongoing courses, to date, have seen 5,060 Australian educators enrol, with an estimated impact on 62,666 Australian students and the delivery of an estimated 51,612 hours of professional development. The online community has expanded to a network of 1,880 educators, with over 4,036 resources shared by teachers. Within the community, teachers can continue professional learning, acquire just­in­time support, share expertise, and view up­to­date resources. In particular, our community­based model has been reported as extremely valuable by teachers in remote schools, who are usually at risk of being isolated during curriculum implementation. Her approach has been recognised through international peer­reviewed publication, and acknowledged by international stakeholders and associations.

Katrina’s roles as Associate Dean and Director of Teaching in the School of Computer Science, as well as leadership of the Computer Science education research group has seen significant growth in the School of Computer Science, making it the most awarded discipline for learning and teaching excellence at the University of Adelaide. She is Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Australia, and Co­Chair of the Australasian Computer Science Education Conference (2015­2016). From 2011­/2012, she was a founding member of the inaugural Australian Council of Deans of ICT Australian Learning and Teaching Academy, and now sits on the Australian Council of Deans of ICT Executive.

Katrina is also a member of the inaugural Australian Computer Society Education Board, and the ACARA Digital Technologies Stakeholder Advisory Group.

Katrina describes her work in ICT education thus: “I can truly say that this is my mission, reflected through my research into new models and approaches for Computer Science education, and my work to facilitate and encourage others to embrace and discover Digital Technologies.”

This was originally posted by ACCE at:

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