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Push my thinking

Next year I would like to incorporate a deeper exploration of algorithmic thinking and problem solving as more fundamentally aspects of the course. I also need to develop new submission protocols and possibly a content management system that allows students to discuss problems, and share their solutions with one another in constructive ways. This would likely include a backend that I could use to help trace collaborations. Finally, while I found that my efforts to gather student interest in computer programming were largely successful, I was still operating outside of technological contexts that could be potent learning contexts for students. For example, it would be really cool to come up with an activity or a unit that helps students learn programming, but also helps them understand how cellphone networks work, or how social networking sites utilize databases.



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This is totally amazing. How would you structure the same course for students entering below grade level.  Thanks for this.  



Thank you for commenting! I promise to follow up with you when I return from my travels (will be back in the states on the weekend of August 12). The submissions for DTC are totally inspiring, don't you think?


Where our schools should be heading!

I am a physics teacher that will try to incorporate Arduino and programming where ever I can but this course is just so through.  I think it is so wonderful that you are introducing students to Arduino in the 9th grade!  I hope that your school has a scope and sequence that continues your work with programming and working with the Arduino.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if your 12th graders built a sophisticated robot that used arduino and its many shields.  

I hope your project is picked because having an interface for handing in code and more importantly sharing it within a learning community would be extremely helpful for so many educators and students.  I mean another youpd challenge would be developing lessons and activities for that software.  How can we teach our students not just copy and paste code but understand it and learn from it to make richer programs?  

Anyway, thanks for sharing.   




Your work is fantastic.  I want to know more.  

9th Grade Engineering at CSS: A Collaboration in Physics, Computer Science and Electronic Design

Problem of practice

Last year I taught a physics-focused computer science and engineering course for 9th graders at Columbia Secondary School (CSS). My goal was for them to eventually obtain a sufficient understanding of computer programming and electronic design that would allow them to create interactive devices using the Arduino physcial computing platform. This goal boiled down to two major hurtles: getting students to engage with programming, and incorporating regents physics (circuits) content effectively.


We began the year using a logo turtle draw program. Next we programmed 3D characters in Alice to create video games. Python was our bridge to text-based programming. Modeling instruction (circuits) curriculum was the final bridge to Arduino.

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