Links and Notes from the Eyeo Festival Code+Ed Session, June 10, 2014
The following is a list of resources which you may find helpful in teaching introductory programming concepts and computational thinking. Wherever possible, these links list resources which are “computerless”, relying instead on paper and cardboard constructions, physical performances, etcetera. This list was compiled from a discussion session on “Teaching Computing without Computers,” held at the Eyeo Festival’s Code+Ed unconference, June 2014.
I apologize that this list is not more richly annotated. If you have additional suggestions, I’d be happy to hear about them for possible compilation here. Please contact me @golan on Twitter, or by email at golan at flong dot com.
FORMAL EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS
From 0 to C Workshop by Ubi de Feo
Adventures in Modeling by Mitchel Resnick et al.
From “Adventures in Modeling: Exploring Complex Dynamic Systems with StarLogo”
- http://education.mit.edu/starlogo/adventures/foraging.pdf (example)
Sol Lewitt Wall Drawings
There are hundreds and hundreds of these. Executing them has terrific pedagogic value.
- http://cmuems.com/2013/a/golan/09/02/melanie-nailed-it/ (from my own course)
Conditional Design & their Manifesto
Tons of instructional pencil-and-paper artwork/assignments
- http://conditionaldesign.org/ (see links to “more” at bottom of page)
The Poster Factory by Studio Moniker (Jonathan Puckey and Luna Maurer)
Processing.A4 by Basil Safwat
A pencil-and-paper version of a classic Processing artwork
Peg Programming by Ed Burton
Wolfram’s CA Rules
A cellular automaton which can be executed with pencil & paper… initially anyway.
Paper Computing and PaperCamp by James Bridle
COMPUTATIONAL THINKING GAMES
Zoom Schwartz Profigliano
A metalinguistic, possibly Turing-complete spoken-word game.
- http://www.scottpages.net/ZoomSchwarzProfigliano.html (lovely extended rules)
A card game in which the players must guess or infer the rules.
An interactive computer game that teaches programming concepts.
Code Monkey (Kickstarted game)
A family-friendly board game that introduces kids to programming concepts.
Mastermind (board game)
A mathematics digit game
Fluxx (card game)
Another card-game with rules that continually change
Kaxxt! Card game by Why the Lucky Stiff (@_why)
A card game which teaches programming concepts.
African Pebble Games (Mancala)
Othello, Reversi, Go
The Descriptive Camera by Matt Richardson
Cubelets by Modular Robotics
Cardboard Computer, Cardboard Plotter by Nicholas Roy
A Computational Model of Knitting, by @bitcraftlab
Alex McLean: “Textiles deserves a place as the origin of computation.”
Mitchel Whitelaw: “Free memory usually takes the form of the yarn ball.”
Binary adding machine sculpture
Math with Marbles, no electronics necessary.
“Push-pull” mechanical logic gates, built from LEGO
“System Blocks” by Oren Zuckerman, MIT Media Lab:
The Mechanical Facebook by Russell Davies
Sphero, Robotic ball
Human-Powered Computer, by John Maeda (1993)
An accurate (if slow :) re-enactment of a computer’s operating system
The MP3 Experiment, by ImprovEverywhere (Charlie Todd et al., annually since 2005)
Emergent behaviors arise in a large-scale crowd, given synchronized audio instructions.
Flock Logic, by Susan Marshall and Naomi Leonard (2010, Princeton)
Dancers are given simple rules, emergent behaviors result.
The Human Cellular Automata, by Matthew Fuller (2000)
“Like a Mexican Wave in two-dimensions”
Sorting algorithms in dance.
The emergent behavior of synchronized crowd clapping
OTHER & MISCELLANEOUS REFERENCES
Visual sorting algorithms
Cooking for Engineers
“Draw it With your Eyes Closed” ed. by Paper Monument
Compilation of provocative, often conceptually-oriented arts assignments
Useful for configuring simple but powerful data relationships.
Rubik’s speed-cubing algorithms
Obkique Strategies by Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt
Mechanical Turk in the Classroom
Assignments e.g. Have students sign up and make the most money, etc.