Where are the glass-boxes? Examining the spectrum of modularity in physical computing hardware tools

Kayla Desportes, Betsy Disalvo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Teaching physical computing has become more prevalent in the past several decades as the maker movement has popularized microcontroller kits as a way to engage students in learning about and creating with technology. Depending on the design of the kit, students can be exposed to concepts in electronics, computer science and design of computational objects. We argue that the concepts students are exposed to depend on the modularity of the hardware and software tools. We define the level of modularity based on two interdependent characteristics: transparency and affordances for interaction. The transparency affects what is hidden or visible to the learner, while the affordances for interaction regulate how users manipulate and combine elements when constructing a computational artifact. Within this study, we examine the transparency and affordances for interaction of the physical computing hardware tools. Using our findings from this examination, we layout a framework that outlines spectrum of modularity that can be provided to facilitate learning with maker kits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIDC 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages292-297
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349215
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 27 2017
Event16th International ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children, IDC 2017 - Stanford, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2017Jun 30 2017

Publication series

NameIDC 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children

Other

Other16th International ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children, IDC 2017
CountryUnited States
CityStanford
Period6/27/176/30/17

Keywords

  • Design for learning
  • Electronics
  • Microcontroller
  • Physical computing education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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