Mobilize: Mobilizing for Innovative Computer Science Teaching and Learning
Now in our second year, the Mobilize team is working to create hands-on, inquiry-based, curricular units that employ Participatory Sensing – a process by which students use mobile phones and web services to systematically collect and interpret data about issues important to them and their communities – as well as teacher professional development for Computer Science, Mathematics, and Science high school classes. Mobilize projects bring together STEM and Computational Thinking with students’ sense of civic involvement in their own communities. Mobilize seeks to strengthen Computer Science instruction throughout our educational system and to develop innovative methods for educating and engaging students in Computational Thinking and data analysis.
Computational Thinking is a relatively recent proposition. We use the term to refer to learning related to Computer Science that transcends the purely functional or vocational, and provide students with important critical thinking skills. This approach allows us to present Computer Science as a living discipline built around a set of core concepts, with technological byproducts that touch both our personal and professional lives.
Thus the core intent of this project is to develop methods for educating and engaging students in Computational Thinking. We will do so by developing and applying our proposed Participatory Sensing methods, tools and systems infrastructure. Such a platform for embodied interaction and visualization is, at best, minimally available in current instructional tools. In this context, we are working to develop and support standards-based units for both Computer Science and traditional STEM Science and Mathematics disciplines.