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Observations: D2L and Teaching Interactivity

posted Dec 11, 2012, 10:40 AM by runberde@hsd.k12.or.us
After teaching the second of six session of the Digital Design Lab, I have found nothing but confirmations about the idea of sequencing Arduino after teaching basic Processing skills. I found that students had exponentially less syntax errors within Arduino after being exposed to Processing for only a half of a day (3 hours)!

This has a number of implications for computer science and electronics education. The first is the "seamless" syntax meshing of a visual programming language that is extremely similar to a physical programming language (Arduino is built on Processing). Many programming languages have that ability, but none of them are as simple as this combination...at least what I've worked with so far. 

The other, and I think most important aspect of teaching both languages is the wide range of interactive outcomes that a class/ student could accomplish. It blurs the line between a computer programming class, robotics, and electronics that in the past have usually been taught as separate topics. It creates well rounded computational thinkers!

I am also looking to the future as other technologies become more readily available Processing has been one of the programming languages that has integrated them. For example the Microsoft Kinect, or ARtoolKit... the potential to embed these technologies and teach them as a part of a middle/ high school class is exciting! 

I am waiting patiently for Processing to be ported over to the Raspberry Pi... hint, hint

 
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