Physical computing - A key element of modern computer science education

In this paper we review prior research into physical computing in the classroom and combine this with our own experiences.

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Project abstract: Policymakers and educators around the globe acknowledge the importance of computer science (CS) education. But traditional CS teaching tools and methodologies do not necessarily address the needs of a diverse, global student population or the latest developments in modern programming and data science. Physical computing – combining software and hardware to build interactive physical systems that sense and respond to the real world – has been shown to result in broad engagement across a spectrum of users. In this paper we review prior research into physical computing in the classroom and combine this with our own experiences. We summarise the reported benefits and show how recent trends in the design and implementation of physical computing devices and systems are resulting in growing adoption. By way of example, we provide a detailed description of a recently developed physical computing system, the BBC micro:bit.

Level of research: Conference paper

Status: Complete

Who is involved: Lancaster University, Microsoft Research, Kings College London

What is the area of research: Computer Science

Output: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/135064/

Contact: j.finney@lancaster.ac.uk, steve.hodges@microsoft.com