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Technology for 21st Century Science Learning: Can we do it in Brazil?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:15am
Spring 2018

Part 1 - Computational literacy for young children: empirical studies in Palo alto and Sobral - “continuation”

Veronica Lin, Doctoral student, Stanford University

Programming for young children has gained significant traction in recent years. Although many learning tools have been created toward this end, research has focused primarily on older children, and few studies have documented young children’s learning processes and difficulties during programming activities. Through task-based studies with first-grade children, we examine the design affordances of a tangible user interface, Project Bloks. Our analysis focuses on two coding puzzles where children engage with loops, and reveals insights into how children learn and where they encountered difficulties. In Sobral, we conducted Project Bloks studies with 15 pairs of first and second-grade students. From these studies, we hope to examine cultural differences in young children’s computational thinking skills, particularly sequencing.

Part 2 - How to assess maker education?

Richard David, Doctoral student, Stanford University

I will discuss a task-based assessment that is designed to capture changes in students’ perception of the functional affordances of complex mechanisms. I explain the validation of this instrument by showing its ability to capture multiple levels of expertise, and by showing its ability to capture changes in expertise due to participation in a maker workshop. More specifically, the instrument captured the students’ improved abillity to recognize that wheels and axles are for rotating and gears are for meshing. The gearbox task was successful in capturing changes in disciplined perception (Stevens & Hall, 1998) due to participation in a maker workshop. As Noble et al. write, “to learn a new discipline, one must learn to see like a member of that discipline” (2004, p. 111). Using formative assessments like these may make it possible to gauge students’ progression in their ability to “see” like an engineer.

Part 3 - Technology for 21st Century Science Learning: can we do it in Brazil?

Engin Bumbacher, Doctoral student, Stanford University

The Next Generation Science Standards push for new instructional approaches that are challenging to implement with existing technologies. One reason for these challenges is the mismatch between the design of technologies and the theories of learning underlying these new instructional approaches. I will discuss the interplay of technology design and theories of learning in Science Education, and present the "lab in the cloud" - a web application that we designed to foster productive scientific reasoning as defined in the Next Generation Science Standards.