Computing for the Social Good in Education Checkup:
A Renewal on Why We Became Educations

SIGCAS 2021 Mini-symposium Affiliate Event

Date: March 10, 2021. A pre-SIGCSE Symposium event!
Time: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm EST  (half-day afternoon event)
Place: Virtual Event (link provided at registration)
Fees: None. This event is sponsored by SIGCAS and is free for registered SIGCSE symposium attendees. Register here for the SIGCSE Symposium.

Although not required, we invite all attendees to join SIGCAS. Memberships is $25/year for ACM members. Join SICGAS.


The ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and Society (SIGCAS) is pleased to invite you to our annual mini-symposium on Computing for the Social Good in Education (CSG-Ed), which will take place Wednesday March 10, 2021, as part of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Affiliated events.

In this year’s CSG-Ed mini-symposium, we invite our fellow educators to reflect with us upon why we became educators and engage in a guided inquiry designed to assess why computing is perceived as a lucrative career choice, but low on the list of providing a means to improve society. If this is the perception or the actuality, “what are we educators doing that may be contributing or acquiescing to this?” The proposed symposium will explore this question and “how we can shift computing education to change this perception?”

It is our contention that we chose education in order to contribute to society by shaping the next generation. In turn, our highest aim is that our computing graduates will use their computing education as a means to tackle the world’s most challenging social, political, environmental, scientific, medical, economical, and business problems in a socially just manner. Who is better positioned to ensure that computing education stays focused towards these goals, then computing educators themselves. Consequently, the proposed symposium will bring our community together to develop strategies that increase computing’s positive impact on society, and hence, shift computing’s perception from one that is interested only in technology and profit to one that is also focused on all of the world’s societal problems.

This past year has brought a lot of societal problems to a head including the problems endemic in the computing field. Times such as these demand a lot from us. They call upon us to rise and meet new challenges while somehow staying the course towards continual improvement and growth. As educators, this past academic year called upon us to do more than ever before for our institutions, students and families. It left many of us feeling exhausted and alienated from the joys, hopes and possibilities that educating and inspiring the next generation typically brings. Despite the promised rewards that engaging and encouraging students towards computing for the social good brings, being a CSG-Ed practitioner takes energy.  In this time of more demands, it is crucial for CSG-Ed practitioners to work smarter. Working smarter means getting the most out of the time spent, finding the small improvements that take little time, but have big impact which we can easily incorporate into our daily routines and build momentum and energy towards meeting larger goals.  

In agriculture, drip irrigation revolutionized the way we grow food. It opened up the possibility to increase crop yield with less water. However, this important innovation only came about through an important discovery: that careful placement of water can increase plant growth with less water wasted and less soil erosion. This discovery wasn’t simply thought up in a day or two…it was developed over decades and studied in order to perfect it1

This session will, through a series of facilitated discussions, endeavor to examine the state of computing education as it relates to the social good with the aim of uncovering specifically targeted approaches that can move the dial towards a wider application and motivation towards both perceiving and actualizing computing as the means for solving societal and humanitarian problems.



Johanna Blumenthal, Esq.
Regis University
More about Johanna
Dr. Richard Blumenthal
Regis University
More about Richard
Dr. Mikey Goldweber
Xavier University
More about Mikey
Dr. Lisa Kaczmarczyk
Lisa Kaczmarczyk PhD Consulting, LLC
Harvey Mudd College
More about Dr. Kaczmarczyk


Register Here

Questions? Want to Get Involved?

Contact Mikey Goldweber (, or Lisa Kaczmarczyk (


[1] Parker, Doug; Zilberman, David; and Taylor, Becca. (n.d.). The Economic Value of Drip Irrigation in California. [power point slides]. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources California Institute for Water Resources.