Browsing articles in "Concept"
Apr 7, 2012
liza

Guiding Ideas from Old Research

In trying to get back to a brain space conducive to the synthesis of events, ideas, and evaluations that need to happen, I revisited some of my research from early fall semester (when I was obsessed with Richard Sennett and Organic User Interfaces). I came across three quotations that were formative then and still hold major resonance with the mission of my thesis:

“I want to make a simple proposal about this engaged material consciousness: we become particularly interested in the things we can change…. People invest thought in the things they can change…”

“…evolution occurs when a new material condition suggests the new use of a new tool.”

Richard Sennett, The Craftsman

“One of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of something is to create it, to construct it, to build it.”

Mitch Resnick, Behavior Construction Kits

Mar 28, 2012
liza

Thinking outside my own box

//Be warned!! It’s a long one…

This shift in focus emerged from a variety of factors. I like to think of it as debugging the delivery process. In a nutshell, I am not completely turning away from my original ideas, but I do think that in order to effectively realize them, there needs to be conversation on both ends. I’ll start with the first seed.
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Feb 23, 2012
liza

100 Word Statement //Slightly revised

BOXES is a workshop that introduces an alternative approach to teaching and learning computational thinking. Drawing on the design process for a contextual framework, the workshop emphasizes how softer materials can broaden entry points for new users. Generally, context is rarely addressed in introductory computing courses, but it can be a significant factor in reaching populations with different learning modalities. Design provides a rich contextual and functional basis for learners to map circuits. A paper substrate allows users to trace the path of electricity as it moves through the circuit before building it. Copper tape is an easily manipulated conductor that users apply to their pre-drawn schematic. Learners embed their circuits in individual boxes. Alone, they act as paper lamps. Together, they communicate with each other via magnetic switches under different rule sets, creating generative 3 dimensional interactive art forms. BOX makers can recombine their structures to fashion unique environments or pixelated displays.

Feb 10, 2012
liza

Thesis Project Statement //Reframed

BOXES is a workshop that introduces educators to alternative approaches to teach computing. Drawing on the design process for a contextual framework, the workshop emphasizes how softer materials can broaden entry points for new users. Generally, context is rarely addressed in introductory computing courses, but it can be a significant factor in reaching populations with different learning styles. Design provides a rich contextual and functional basis for learners to map circuits. A paper substrate allows users to trace the path of electricity as it moves through the circuit before building it. Copper tape is an easily manipulated conductor that users apply to their pre-drawn schematic. Learners embed their circuits in individual boxes. Alone, they act as paper lamps. Together, they communicate with each other via magnetic switches under different rule sets, creating generative 3 dimensional interactive art forms. Content will be delivered through a web-based platform in an Instructables-style format, but will be distinguished through a series of reflection questions.

***The last sentence is still in the works!

Here is a link to a new page with an instruction to drawing out the circuit diagram.

Nov 24, 2011
liza

Revised Thesis Statement + To Do List

STEAM-inspired, modular middle school curriculum designed to facilitate learning and empower teaching of abstract computational and electrical concepts through the personal fabrication of a physical, computationally-enhanced toolkit using alternative, “soft” materials.

I feel revitalized after some of the key decisions I have recently made based on the feedback I have been receiving and feel very confident in my direction and the scope of my work moving forward. Here is a deliverables list for thesis proposal. I would like to have completed drafts of the following: Anything with a ** will probably just be an unfinished outline/template.

MAKING
Each stage of the process, i.e. lots o little paper boxes
(DESIGN, ELECTRONICS, TALKING, SENSING, COMPUTATION, NETWORKS)

DOING
(0) Outline of Computational Thinking skills
(1) Overview diagram to outline structure + refining stages (adding, dropping, changing names, etc)
(2) Essential Questions/Enduring Understandings
(3) Assessment rubric
(4) Diagram with Standards Alignment
(5) Individual lesson outline**
(6) Step by step documentation of lessons**
(7) Materials overview and list

Nov 22, 2011
liza

Feedback: Technical Module

The most important takeaway from this presentation and critique is nailing down who it is for (teacher or student), where it will be implemented (in school or after school) – these are crucial questions I did not answer in this presentation, and Ryan’s critique made me realize that I needed to return to these as I move forward with my proposal. I believe his specific words were “those are key decisions that you’ll have to make that will have a big impact on what your project is.”

Here’s upshot: Continue reading »

Oct 4, 2011
liza

Statement of Purpose

V1:
The goal of this project is to develop a new “soft” input/output interface that promotes scaffolded learning of computational processes and circuitry. Specific objectives include (1) creating a learning space that promotes experimentation, reflection, and self-expression and (2) investigating how the use of new and/or repurposed materials can engage new audiences in computation through craft.

V2:
The goal of this project is to develop a new “soft” a paper-based input/output interface that promotes scaffolded learning of computational processes and circuitry. Specific objectives include (1) creating a learning space that promotes experimentation, reflection, and self-expression and (2) investigating how the use of new and/or repurposed materials can engage new audiences in computation through craft.

V3:
The goal of this project is to develop a new “soft” a paper-based input/output interface modular toolkit that promotes scaffolded learning of computational processes and circuitry. Specific objectives include (1) creating a learning space that promotes experimentation, reflection, and self-expression and (2) investigating how the use of new and/or repurposed materials can engage new audiences in computation through craft.

Oct 3, 2011
liza

Modularity + Construction Kits: A few thoughts

Construction kits are great. Construction kits that have a life span of two or more uses are even better. LEGO is by far and away the most pervasive (of current generations at least), and it is so successful because it allows innumerable recombinations. Lately I have been trying to decide the form of my project as it aligns with my conceptual goals. From here, I would like to classify the possible recombinations of such construction kits into two manifestations: the mini-world and the reconstruction of a object, device, or setting at a real world scale.
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Oct 2, 2011
liza

Concept Diagram

v1. Develop and construct a modular paper-based toolkit to teach basic electrical concepts and interface design.

v2. Develop and construct a modular toolkit using paper, everyday objects, and conductive materials to teach basic electrical concepts and interface design.

Oct 2, 2011
liza

Updates + New (actually old) Directions

Recently I have been feeling a great deal of dissonance between my direction and its lack of personal foundation. In other words, more often than not, my projects need a function to stand on. Initially I was trepidatious to integrate education and learning as a fundamental component of my thesis, but the past month has led me to see the importance of sticking with something you know well and something that you are passionate about.
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