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Physical computing in Scratch

Tine Koron (2019) Physical computing in Scratch. Diploma thesis.

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    Physical computing is a fairly new concept of teaching for both computer science teachers and researchers in the field of computer science didactics. It is about designing and using interactive physical systems that, through different sensors, detect the environment and then with the help of software respond to the world around them. The main topic of the diploma thesis is the examination of a computer learning model based on active learning and the use of physical computing. In the theoretical part, we introduced Papert's constructionism and physical computing. First, we defined the concept of physical computing and explained its importance why should be thought in elementary school. Students used microcontrollers for physical computing projects. They used an Arduino Uno microcontroller and used the S4A (Scratch for Arduino) visual programming environment to program them. The projects were designed according to constructionist theory. We conducted a problem-based workshop where we presented physical computing to the students. The theme of the workshop was Scratch Arduino Express. The purpose of the projects was to control the environment in which the toy train moves on the rails automatically. The main objective of the workshop was to introduce the students with the physical computing components (servo motors, LEDs, etc.) and to encourage thinking that allows students to assemble, execute and test physical computing projects. At the same time, we wanted to find out how the activities organized in this way affect the student's understanding and use of basic programming concepts (loops, conditional statements, logical operators, variables). In the 25-hour workshop participated 18 students, from the second three-year cycle of elementary school. All the students had background programming knowledge in Scratch. Students were working in pairs. Each pair had to make a model of the railway and include physical computer components. In the empirical part, we presented the course of the workshop day by day and the results of the tests before and after the workshop.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: constructionism, physical computing, Arduino, S4A
    Number of Pages: 49
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Irena Nančovska ŠerbecMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12595785
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5970
    Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 08:17
    Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 08:17
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5970

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