SBIR Phase I:CyberCollage: A Collective Programming Environment for the Social Exploration of Computational Thinking through Games
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
6560 GUNPARK DR STE D, BOULDER, CO, 80301
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to build a system called CyberCollage as a cyberlearning tool to support computational thinking in STEM education at the middle school level. CyberCollage will enable the collective programming of educational games and computational science simulations through a social media approach that uniquely combines real-time synchronous collaboration with web-based multi end-user Programming. For example, multiple students would be able to work together on a Frogger game. While one student may be programming the frog a different student might be working on the turtles. Similarly, students can collaborate on computational science applications that explore questions such as 'can your frog live in my pond?' Both game design and computational science applications will be directly responsive to the computational thinking need of K-12 STEM education through cyberlearning technology. Cyberlearning technology addresses concrete needs in K-12 computer science education. The proposed combination of high accessibility through Web interfaces, increased motivational prospective through social media, and tested curriculum integrated into required computer education middle school courses is likely to reach a vast audience and attract women and underrepresented communities. The inclusion of strategies to support computational science applications will be relevant to STEM education and, through their integration into public schools, enhance public science understanding. The project has access to disadvantaged communities such as inner city, remote rural and Native American schools that can serve as testbeds for evaluation beyond Phase I. From a research point of view, the unique conceptual as well as technical aspects of Collective Programming are likely to result in significant contributions to programming language design, social interface design, social computing, and end-user programming. The common framework employed between game design and computational science has the potential to discover both, positive and negative, evidence for educational notions of transfer that are highly relevant to computational thinking.
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