Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘computer science’

How do game making projects influence learners’ attitudes to computing?

Judy Robertson (2013) The influence of a game making project on male and female learners’ attitudes to computing, Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK

There is a pressing need for gender inclusive approaches to engage young people in computer science. A recent popular approach has been to harness learners’ enthusiasm for computer games to motivate them to learn computer science concepts through game authoring. The results of this study indicate that both boys and girls in the early years of high school have positive attitudes to computing and want to find out more about it. Boys are more likely to be more strongly positive than girls. The pupils thought that the game making project was fun and around half of them would recommend it to a friend. Their teachers believed that the project was a highly positive experience for their pupils in terms of motivation, and that it benefited pupils right across the ability spectrum.

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Can Android App Inventor Bring Computational Thinking to K-12 learners?

R. Morelli, T. de Lanerolle, P. Lake, N.Limardo, B. Tamotsu, C. Uche (2010) Can Android App Inventor Bring Computational Thinking to K-12?  Unpublished, September 2010.

App Inventor for Android is a new visual programming plat- form for creating mobile applications for Android-based smart phones. This paper reports on the summer component of an ongoing project aimed at addressing whether App Inven- tor would be a suitable platform for bringing computational thinking to K-12 students. The project brought together a team consisting of two high school CS teachers, two novice undergraduate computing students, a community outreach leader, and a college CS instructor. The students were eas- ily able to develop complex mobile apps completely on their own initiative. Overall, the team found App Inventor to be an accessible and powerful platform that could well support introductory level courses at the college and K-12 levels.

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How do Alice, Greenfoot, and Scratch compare?

Ian Utting, Stephen Cooper, Michael Kölling, John Maloney, Mitchel Resnick (2010) “Alice, Greenfoot, and Scratch — A Discussion”, ACM Transactions on Computing Education (2010) Volume: 10, Issue: 4, Pages: 1-11

This article distills a discussion about the goals, mechanisms, and effects of three environments which aim to support the acquisition and development of computing concepts (problem solving and programming) in pre-University and non-technical students: Alice, Greenfoot, and Scratch. The conversation started in a special session on the topic at the 2010 ACM SIGCSE Symposium on Computer Science Education and continued during the creation of the resulting Special Issue of the ACM Transactions on Computing Education.

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What could Computer Science look like in the Elementary School?

Katherine Gunion (2008) FUNdamentals of CS: Designing and Evaluating Computer Science Activities for Kids, University of British Columbia, A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE in the Department of Computer Science

Computer Science is not included in high school or middle school education in British Columbia. Young students are not exposed to Computer Science when they are learning their fundamentals. Given the correct abstractions like kinesthetic learn- ing activities and graphical programming languages, elementary school students can be exposed to computer science and can understand sophisticated topics like recursion and concurrency. This means that more students’ interest will be piqued and they will be exposed to sophisticated concepts before first year computer science.

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Can Scratch be used to teach Computer Science Concepts?

Orni Meerbaum-Salant, Michal Armoni, Mordechai (Moti) Ben-Ari (2010) Learning Computer Science Concepts with Scratch, ICER 2010, August 9–10, 2010

We investigated the use of Scratch to teach concepts of computer science. We developed new learning materials based upon the constructionist philosophy of Scratch, and evaluated their use in middle-school classrooms. The results showed that most students are able to understand CS concepts, thus supporting the claims of Scratch to be a viable platform for teaching CS.

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