How Do You Introduce Computing in an Engaging Way?

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Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects.

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Case Studies:

  • Storytelling (Case Study 1) | Relevant Audiences: K-12, Higher Education

    Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects. By focusing on problem-solving skills, the computer programming environment “Learning to Program with Alice” takes a new approach that helps students see programming as a series of causal relationships.

  • Unplugged (Case Study 2) | Relevant Audiences: K-12, Higher Education

    Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects. “CS Unplugged” demystifies computing through hands-on activities, including one activity called “Sorting Network.” The activity employs kinetic learning and teamwork to illustrate parallel sorting networks to organize data.

  • Meet Them Where They Are (Case Study 3) | Relevant Audiences: K-12

    Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects. The Girl Scouts’ “Technobile” is a mobile technology classroom with 12 workstations. It showcases technology and technology careers in ways that appeal to girls, while breaking down the access barriers to IT.

  • Teaching Programming and Language Concepts Using LEGOs® (Case Study 4) | Relevant Audiences: K-12, Higher Education

    Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects. In this easy-to-implement classroom activity, individual LEGOS® bricks are used to express a special-purpose programming language, allowing students to kinetically approach concepts and skills in computing in a non-intimidating fashion.

  • Snap, Create, and Share with Scratch (Case Study 5) | Relevant Audiences: K-12, Higher Education

    Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects. Scratch is a free “media rich programming environment” in which novice programmers can quickly express their creativity while learning computational thinking. Students “snap” together several categories of “building blocks” (e.g., statements, loops, variables) to quickly generate animations, games, and art.

  • Scalable Game Design for Middle School (Case Study 6) | Relevant Audiences: K-12

    Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects. The middle school computing curriculum in Colorado’s Boulder Valley School District uses Scalable Game Design to introduce computer programming. Over the course of a one- to two-month module, students gradually learn more sophisticated topics in order to create increasingly complex games and computational science applications.

  • Globaloria: Students Designing Educational Games (Case Study 7) | Relevant Audiences: K-12

    Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects. Globaloria is the country’s largest social learning network of schools and community centers using a game design curriculum to develop students’ digital literacies, computing knowledge, and global citizenship skills.

 

Release Date: October 24, 2012
Audience(s): K-12Higher Education
Short URL:www.ncwit.org/unpluggedpractice