1. Ivon Arroyo
  2. https://www.wpi.edu/people/faculty/iarroyo
  3. Assistant Professor
  5. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  1. Erin Ottmar
  2. https://sites.google.com/site/erinottmar/
  3. Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences and Technology
  5. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Teaching Computational Thinking through Programming Wearable Devices as Finit...

NSF Awards: 1647023

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

This video will demonstrate our NSF funded project that uses cell phone technology and SmartWatches to train middle school students in public schools in computational thinking and mathematics, by having children create such augmented reality games with math related challenges. This new genre of embodied technologies (mobile and wearable devices that involve motion and physical activity) will allow children to create augmented reality math games as well as play each other's math games. The project intends to advance scientific knowledge on how people learn, as it investigates how to teach mathematics and computing through game play and game design. It investigates how K-12 students may program mobile and wearable technologies (SmartWatches and cell phones) as finite-state-machines, a topic that is typically reserved for undergraduates in Computer Science. The project goes beyond the idea of playing embodied games to having students become creators of math games. In this process, students shift their perspective from consumers to producers, thinking about what is beneath and beyond the surface of what they can immediately see and perceive, thinking at higher levels of abstraction.

This video will introduce the idea of teaching finite-state-machines to K-12 students using engaging, high-quality embodied technologies in the form of wearable electronics, while teaching K-12 mathematics through game play and game design. Iterative design studies will examine the feasibility of the approach, including attention to the associated professional development needs for teachers, the human-computer interaction questions raised by programmable wearables, the finite state machine metaphor for learner-oriented programming environments, and curricular constraints and affordances of embedding the work in math learning.

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