Physical Computing in Computer Science Education - Creative design and development

Mareen Przybylla, University of Potsdam

The availability of easily programmable microcontrollers offers a new way of creatively designing computing systems at school. In physical computing, students use programmable hardware to design and craft interactive objects that communicate with their environment through sensors and actuators. This way, artefacts of learning become visible, tangible and shareable. Physical computing perfectly matches with ideas of constructionist learning, which has the creation of personally relevant artefacts in its core. Various tools and their characteristics and current research results will be presented. With “My Interactive Garden” and the didactical concepts that underlie this idea, a concrete tested example will be provided.