‘Objects-to-think-with’ in a Climate Emergency

Papert (1980) created Logo where the computer served as an ‘object-to-think-with’. The basis of this latest work is to explore constructionism in parallel with computational thinking, specifically when children and adults interact with the internet of things.

The physical computing device becomes a contemporary ‘object-to-think-with’ and a platform for everyone to further understand connected technologies with data transfer, linked to current global environmental issues and to control their own learning.

Putting tools, in this example low-cost sensors, into the hands of communities to understand the world around them has seen a rise of problem-finding in project-based education programmes with the FDC. The emphasis on current activities to build and program projects to link local air quality problems to the UNs’ Sustainable Development Goals, gives purpose and real world relevance to learning.

Influences from mosaic tiles and zellige

The joys of tinkering for learning with ‘objects-to-think-with’ is still relevant today as groups collaborate and use the Python Turtle tools within Trinket. Planning is mapped to Engineering Habits of Mind, with algorithmic art prompts as an engaging theme to visualise air quality data from community-led learning programmes.

Another example above as a group of Scouts join the community-led air quality monitoring network in West Leeds. The 2nd Bramley Scouts will be developing their own ideas for deployment and understanding the data to make choices over the coming weeks and months, leading to accreditation for their digital badges.

Pupil voice adding another powerful dimension to this community project. Empowerment through social action.

Using the pen extension in Scratch for algorithmic art and dataviz

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