Independent Readings and Our Design

Margolis, Fisher and Miller (2000) discuss how gender socialization and cultural artifacts in computer science have been male dominated, and may have undermined women’s sense of their own intrinsic nature. To address this, there is a need to situate technology in a social context and to address the initial experience gap. Margolis, Fisher and Miller (1999) also discuss linking computer science interests to a larger societal framework – a “re-invisioning” of computer science. For our design, we tried to make our sample projects appealing to both boys and girls – they should be creative and related to daily life and social contexts. The learning process should be different from typical lab sessions, and teachers and students should be given the choice of project to work on. Also, to bridge the “initial experience gap”, we came up with a startup guide about how the LilyPad Arduino works, in vernacular terms to bring them up to speed.

Maloney, Peppler, Kafai, Resnick and Rusk (2008) talk about the how programming has been simplified in Scratch – the Scratch blocks help eliminate syntax errors, offers some form of feedback about the placement of command blocks, as well as gives feedback for experiments. Also, Resnick and Rosenbaum (2013) define tinkering as a valid and valuable style of working where the learner engages with a problem or project in a playful, exploratory and iterative style. This process involves trying out ideas, making adjustments and refinements, followed by experimenting with new possibilities. This is an iterative cycle. In our PD materials, we emphasize the colors of the blocks and the shape of the components – how they can be put together to form a programming sequence. At the same time, we also encouraged the use of immediate feedback from the LilyPad Arduino as the code is run, as ways to test out and debug their code. This tinkering and experimentation has to do with the Maker Mindset that we are trying to facilitate in the PD session.


Margolis, J., Fisher, A., & Miller, F. (1999). Caring about connections : Gender and computing. Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE, 18(4), 13–20.

Margolis, J., Fisher, A., & Miller, F. (2000). The anatomy of interest: Women in undergraduate computer science. The Feminist Press, 28(1), 104–127.

Maloney, J. H., Peppler, K., Kafai, Y., Resnick, M., & Rusk, N. (2008). Programming by choice: urban youth learning programming with scratch. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 40(1), 367-371.

Resnick, M., & Rosenbaum, E. (2013). Designing for Tinkerability. In M. Honey & D.E. Hunter (Eds.) Design, make, play pp. 163-181. Routledge, London.


0 Responses to “Independent Readings and Our Design”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: