Starting with Ubicomp: using the SenseBoard to introduce computing

Richards, Michael; Petre, Marian and Bandara, Arosha (2012). Starting with Ubicomp: using the SenseBoard to introduce computing. In: 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 29 Feb - 3 Mar 2012, Raleigh, NC.


In this paper, we describe a new undergraduate module for novice students conducted entirely through distance learning: My Digital Life (TU100). The module has been designed to lower the barriers to creating programs that interact with the world; TU100’s materials have been designed to excite, encourage, reassure and support learners who explore the novel topic of ubiquitous computing through playful experimentation. It introduces the fundamentals of computing by giving students the capability for programming a device, the SenseBoard, which has built-in input/output and sensors. Programming is done in Sense, an extension of Scratch, which scaffolds programming and reduces the syntax burden. TU100 has taken inspiration from childhood learning and commercial product design to produce compelling, yet academically rigorous study materials.

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