This TED Talk by John Maeda in June 2012 captures the essence of what we are trying to do with students. I see the computer as something to interact with in other ways than a mouse and keyboard, even a touch screen. As students become more comfortable with Processing much of their work starts to look similar to the early work of Mr. Maeda, with manipulating basic shapes, text and colors.
As students get a grasp on Processing and move into Arduino, the creativity and depth of the interactions change from interactions that are at the forefront of their brains as muscle memory and native to how they the daily use the computer to something that is foreign, new and interesting. The interactions created by combining Processing and Arduino, software and hardware nourish students' curiosity.
One of my favorite quotes from a student has been, "This is technology class...Why are we doing art?" My answer has always been, "because it's not how you use the technology now, but how you are going to use it in the future!" How students interact with their projects now can easily change the user/computer interface of tomorrow. That is my passion, and I am happy to see other people sharing the same viewpoint.