sessions looked at Challenges of Using Groupware to Teach
Groupware and Computer Science Education and the World
Wide Web. In addition to the Working Group posters, 13 other
posters rounded out the program. Each day began with a keynote speaker—Elliot Soloway of the University of Michigan, The
Nintendo Generation Goes to College; Scott Teel of Sun Mi-crosystems, The role of Java in the future of computer science
education; and Diana Laurillard of the Open University UK,
Making multimedia user-active.
Conference evaluation forms were positive, with some good
feedback on the program and logistics to guide the next year.
Mats Daniels of Uppsala University joined Boots Cassel
of Villanova as co-chairs of the second ITiCSE. It was again
co-sponsored with SIGCUE. Working groups met 1–5 June
1997 and the conference began with a reception on the evening of 1 June and continued through Wednesday, 4 June. Jonas
Barklund organized posters and demonstrations, while Vicki
Almstrum did the working groups.
The early conferences called for submission of extended abstracts, some of which were chosen for expansion into full papers. Others were selected for presentation as short papers or
posters. The call for participation asked submitters to indicate
whether or not they would be able to expand the abstract into
a paper if it was chosen. Work in progress could be submitted
as a poster, without going through the extended abstract path.
A submission required four copies of the material—so that it
could be shared with the reviewers. Many submissions came
on paper, though some came in email. Fax submissions were
allowed, but discouraged.
Over time, many changes helped define ITiCSE as it is now.
SIGCUE disappeared and ITiCSE quickly became a SIGCSE
sponsored event. The willingness of the leadership of SIGCUE
to co-sponsor the early conferences allowed SIGCSE to take the
risk of starting a new conference. As the conference evolved
without SIGCUE, the name became less relevant. Keeping the
same acronym, ITiCSE became Innovation and Technology in
Computer Science Education.
The burden on the Working Groups to produce a substantial
report in five days and take the time and effort to make presentations at the conference became untenable. The editing of
the final report in the days right after the conference proved
impractical. Now, the working group leaders work with their
teams to complete the report and submit at a specified date
after the conference ends. The working group presentations
as posters during breaks was replaced by a single presentation during the conference. In the very early working groups,
members solicited help from conference attendees in the form
of surveys and interviews to incorporate into their work. Now,
more commonly, these take the form of online surveys conducted before the conference begins.
After the first two conferences, I stepped away from the com-
mittees. Happily ITiCSE has flourished under leadership from
a broad cross section of the SIGCSE community. The initial
committee members, particularly Mats Daniels in Sweden and
from the conference time. We wanted our groups to have time
to do something more substantial and so designed a different
model. That initial model has been changed, for good reasons;
however, the basic idea still works. The plan was to have two
overlapping, but somewhat distinct events—the conference
and the working groups. The working group members began
their work by email communication before the conference and
arrived a day early to meet in person and continue their work.
The groups continued to meet during the conference, with
breaks to attend plenary sessions and members stepping out to
go to a session of particular interest. On Monday and Wednesday afternoons, the working groups presented status reports in
poster form at a wine and tapas reception.
One of my fondest memories of the first ITiCSE was that
first working group poster session. As conference attendees left
their sessions and came into the reception area, every single
person ignored the wine and tapas and went to see what the
working groups were doing! I knew then that we had something
of value. People did enjoy the wine and snacks, of course, but
the lively conversations at the working group posters continued
through the session time.
There were five working groups that first year, with seven to
ten members in each. The working group chairs were required
to turn in their report before leaving from the conference on
Thursday afternoon. A committee of editors then took over to
put the reports into a final form suitable for publication. That
first year, the committee met in a lovely seaport town and edited the reports on Spanish computers—with Spanish menus and
keyboard layouts. An essential language lesson for the editors
was that guardar means save, and guardar como means save as.
The conference program had three parallel tracks, two for
papers and one for demonstrations. There were ten long papers, 35 short papers, and 12 demonstrations. Two panel
The enthusiastic conference
evaluations from Barcelona provided
the encouragement to continue
and expand on the idea of a
conference focused on pragmatic
applications of techniques
and technologies as we adapted to
the presence of the web,
social media, constant connectivity,
and an increasingly tech-savvy