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Square - Playkit for learning computational thinking

Acronimo SQUARE

Abstract How might we bridge the digital literacy gap in K12 classrooms? To start with, defining “digital literacy” is critical in understanding the problem we are trying to solve. Oversimplified conversations around digital transformation in the classroom are a threat that needs to be addressed. The challenge our society is facing today is not so much to train every child and educator as programmers, but to ensure we all share a common understanding of how technology works, so that we can all participate in the digital society. Saturating schools with computers and programming classes is therefore far lower a priority than teaching computational thinking as an essential intellectual discipline. If we, as a society, aspire to support our children to thrive in the future, we need to ensure that educators, policy-makers, and parents understand that digital literacy is about giving the rising generation of digital natives the knowledge and the skills they need to define and create the future. When we start exploring the application of computer science principles across multiple subjects in the classroom beyond programming, a new world of possibilities opens up. We then begin to see that educators and students can leverage the power of computational thinking not only to understand seemingly complex concepts such as algorithmic design but also to spot new relationships between different academic subjects and to apply them in real life. Project Square addresses the challenge Swiss primary schools have in bringing computational thinking into the classroom beyond the screens, as an intellectual discipline at the intersection of essential 21st century skills and competences. What is special about the project? Created together with educators and based on research from the science of learning, Square aims to empower primary school teachers and children aged 6-12 to understand, experience and practice concepts related to computational thinking through unplugged interactions in their daily learning environment. The project points to release an experiential and ludic learning experience (play kit) based on creative and collaborative problem-solving strategies, the use of a physical space and low-tech materials. By harnessing the power of Productive Failure in learning (Kapur, 2016) and embodied cognition, Square engages students and educators in activities that maximize learning of computational thinking related concepts in the longer term. Project Square aims to be a contribution to open education initiatives. Developed as an open source, low-cost, effective 21st century playful learning activity for K12 educators and students, Square aims to lower the fear barrier related to ICT, and support the development of digital literacy in Swiss primary school classrooms.

Enti SUPSI coinvolti Settore Interaction Design

Persone coinvolte Giovanni Profeta, Marco Lurati

Responsabili Serena Cangiano

Data di inizio progetto 1 marzo 2018

Data di chiusura progetto 31 dicembre 2018