[Explore and create : Playground]
Purpose & objective
The CTN Playground is focused around ideas, issues and practical examples which support our mission of teaching and learning about computing. We want all exhibits to identify aspects of Computational Thinking they support and be primarily staffed by students if at all possible. Areas included are computer science and information technology areas. From a degree, program or career perspective, this would include the ACM Curriculum areas of Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Technology, Information Systems and Computer Engineering.
Our members come from a very diverse educational component – many are teachers in the classroom, but we also have teacher educators, media specialists, some in education services (such as consultants or providers of outside content). Our membership draws from many of the nearly 30 Professional Learning Networks (PLN). Our members are looking for ways to to encourage the creative use the technology including its modification and adaptation, by students solving interesting, relevant and new problems in the classroom. In this way we meet our mission of teaching and learning about computing.
As indicated earlier, for ISTE 2015 our Playground will again focus on Computational Thinking (CT). The knowledge, skills, dispositions and vocabulary are defined and exemplified in three documents from ISTE's Computational Thinking page of resources.
Over the 3 hour period, we intend to have at least 6 active exhibits at tables set up by ISTE with LED display panels; we intend to have at least 2 active display areas with very large LED display panels for somewhat larger groups; we also intend to have a number of robotics programs represented including those of USFIRST (FRC, FTC, FLL, FLLjr) and VEX robotics (High School and Middle School). All of these exhibits will either be run by or include engagement by students at potentially all grade levels. This is the 7th year we have run this successful event and engaged a large number of ISTE attendees with computational thinking and computer science.
There are a huge number of available resources which support what this playground purports to do. For example, reading through the 8 volumes of CTN Newsletters will provide a very rich experience for anyone interested in reviewing articles, websites and other resources that have become available in just the number of years we have run this playground.