June 14-18, 2010: Massachusetts Workshops

The goal of these workshops is to introduce techniques that might be integrated into introductory courses in computing with a goal of attracting and engaging a broader range of students.

June 14-15 in Amherst

Topic: From Visual Programing to Media: Approaches to Starting Computing
Workshop hosted by CAITE and Rick Adrion of U. Massachusetts at Amherst.
Location and Parking: TBA

This workshop will describe different approaches for getting students started with computing. We will be using Scratch (http://www.scratch.mit.edu), Alice (http://www.alice.org), and Media Computation (http://www.mediacomputation.org). Alice is an approach to teaching introductory computing where students drag-and-drop program elements in order to construct 3-D stories. Scratch is similar but with a simpler interface and a focus on 2-D stories. Media Computation is an approach to teaching introductory computing where the focus is on manipulating pictures, sounds, and video. All three approaches motivate and engage students, by contextualizing computing in a relevant activity.

We will not aim to teach Alice in this workshop, but rather, only give a flavor of Alice. If you want to learn more Alice, please visit http://www.alice.org to download a copy of Alice and try running some of the tutorials. A CD with all software will be provided at the workshop. We will also have a limited number of USB drives for copying the software at the workshop.

This workshop is sponsored by the NSF BPC Alliances CAITE and Georgia Computes!. It is aimed at computer science higher-education faculty and is also open to high school teachers.

To Register

http://firstcourse.eventbrite.com/

Agenda

Monday June 14
8:30-9: Continental breakfast
9-9:30: Welcome and Introductions. (Session 1)
9:30: Introduction to manipulation of images with Media Computation in Python. (No prior experience with Python required.) (Session 2)
10:30-10:45: Coffee Break
11: Image Manipulation with Java. (Session 3)
12-1: Lunch break (and play with images)
1-2: Manipulating sounds with Media Computation. (Session 4)
2-3: Integrating Media Computation with Alice. (Session 5)
3-3:15: Coffee Break.
3:15-4:30. Try manipulating images and sounds, and carrying them in or out of Alice.

Tuesday June 15
8:30-9: Continental breakfast
9-10: Research results – what do we know about use of Media Computation? (Session 6)
10-11:30: Getting started with Scratch. (Session 7)
11:30-12: Play with Scratch.
12-1: Lunch
1-2: Introducing objects with turtles and MIDI. (Session 8)
2-2:45: Group Discussion: Which of these approaches could you use in your classes? Can you integrate these in an interesting way?
2:45-3:15: Small groups: Create an assignment that integrates these approaches.
3:15-3:30: Coffee break
3:30-4:30: Share assignments, then try it yourself.

June 16-18 in Cambridge, MA, hosted by Suffolk University

Topic: Media Computation
Workshop hosted by John Sanders of Suffolk University, with sponsorship from NSF BPC Alliances CAITE and Georgia Computes!.
Location:


The goal of this workshop is to introduce techniques that might be integrated into introductory courses in computing with a goal of attracting and engaging a broader range of students. We will be using Alice (http://www.alice.org) and Media Computation (http://www.mediacomputation.org). Alice is an approach to teaching introductory computing where students drag-and-drop program elements in order to construct 3-D stories. Media Computation is an approach to teaching introductory computing where the focus is on manipulating pictures, sounds, and video. Both approaches motivate and engage students, by contextualizing computing in a relevant activity.

This workshop presumes some experience with Alice. If you haven't had any, please visit http://www.alice.org to download a copy of Alice. Try running some of the tutorials. A CD with all software will be provided at the workshop. We will also have a limited number of USB drives for copying the software at the workshop.

This workshop is funded by the NSF CCLI program. It is aimed at computer science higher-education faculty and is also open to high school teachers.

Agenda

Wednesday June 16: Python Media Computation, with some Alice
8:30-9: Continental breakfast
9-9:30: Welcome and Introductions. (Session 1)
9:30: Introduction to manipulation of images with Media Computation in Python. (No prior experience with Python required.) (Session 2)
10:30-10:45: Coffee Break
11: Cropping and Scaling of Images (Session 2 continued)
12-1: Lunch break (and play with images)
1-2: Introducing sound, sound manipulations, splicing sounds. (Session 3)
2-3: Integrating Media Computation with Alice (Session 4)
3-3:15: Coffee Break.
3:15-4:30. Try manipulating images and sounds, and carrying them in or out of Alice.

Thursday June 17: Java Media Computation
8:30-9: Continental breakfast
9-10: Research results – what do we know about use of Media Computation? (Session 5)
10-11:00: Mapping this all to Java. Manipulating images and sounds in Java. (Session 6)
10:30-10:45: Coffee Break
11-12: Introducing objects with turtles and MIDI (Session 7)
12-1: Lunch
1-2: Making movies and doing digital video special effects. (Session 8)
2-3:15. Try movies and MIDI yourself.
3:15-3:30: Coffee Break.
3:30-4:30: Group Discussion: Which of these approaches could you use in your classes?

Friday June 18
8:30-9: Continental breakfast
9-10: Introducing linked lists with MIDI (Session 9)
10-11: Linked lists and trees of images. (Session 9 continued)
11-12: Try making a MIDI song or a linked list animation.
12-1: Lunch.
1-2: Making simulations in Greenfoot (Session 10)
2-3: Making our own simulation package. (Session 11)
3-3:15: Coffee break.
3:15-4:30: Choice: Discrete event simulations (to introduce stacks and queues) (Session 11 continued), or make simulations in Greenfoot or the MediaComp Data Structures simulation package.


Registration

To register for the Amherst workshop, please visit http://firstcourse.eventbrite.com/

To register for the Boston workshop, please email Felicia Auzla fauzla@cc.gatech.edu with:

These workshops are free to participants, including continental breakfast, coffee breaks, and lunch. Mileage will be reimbursed up to $100. Out-of-state travel (e.g., airfare) will be reimbursed up to $250. If you live more than 45 miles from the conference location, we will pay for 2-3 nights (2 for Amherst, 3 for Boston) of a hotel room. For mileage reimbursement, we will need start/stop odometer readings.