Prof. Judith Gal-Ezer

Discipline: Computer Science

Expert in: Computer science education

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Key words: algorithmic thinking; computational problem solving; teachers; curriculum; computer science education research.  

Please provide an overview of your current research project and the specific problem or question you are addressing
My area of research for over 35 years is computer science education. At the beginning, it was not a popular area in the "realm" of computer science, but today, after the world recognized its importance it became a real "cool" area.      

What motivated you to pursue research in the field of education and learning technology systems? Was there a particular experience or event that sparked your interest?
Until a few years ago, my main path was looking at a concept difficult to teach, and find new ways to teach and learn it. Today AI and machine learning are area that involve technology and the implementation of theory, so that both interest me.
Right now the big question is how to teach AI in schools and an even bigger question is how to educate teachers to be certified to teach this area.

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and trends in your research field? Are there any specific conferences, journals, or online communities you actively engage with?
Conferences, professional journals and meeting with my community is the way to stay up-to-date.

Please share an example of a research finding or insight that you are particularly proud of. How does it contribute to the broader understanding of education and learning technology systems?
There are too many to list here. Maybe one that was motivated by a question raised by one of the pillars of computer science education; Why is it important to introduce computer science into the school system. And how do you measure success?
The research paper by my colleague and myself showed that thos who took computer science in school are more likely to continue and pursue computer science in academia. With girls/women it was even more pronounced.

In what ways does your research address the challenges and demands of today's educational landscape? How do you envision your work making a positive impact on teaching and learning practices?
Glad to report that my work has already had impact in Israel and the world. The curricula I was responsible for are quoted  world-wide, I was awarded the highest awards. I hope the work I am involved now with students will have a similar impact, in the teaching and learning of new areas.

As a researcher, how do you balance theoretical exploration with practical implementation? How do you ensure that your research findings can be translated into tangible solutions for educational settings?
I allow myself to relate to these entire last four question in one answer.
Computer science needs to integrate theory and its implementation. Theory and applications must be interwoven like a zipper in all programs.  
Teachers are the corner stone pf every study program. They must be competent in the discipline, and follow the development of the discipline and the pedagogy by in-service life long training.
The gap between boys/men and girls/women in this area must be closed. AI which is in a way interdisciplinary can assist.