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UC Berkeley aims to stay ahead of the curve in age of tech - Daily Californian

UC Berkeley aims to stay ahead of the curve in age of tech - Daily Californian | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it


Its efforts come at a time when some experts are claiming that computer-programming knowledge is integral to staying ahead in the technology age.

 

In fall 2009, Dan Garcia, a professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer sciences, piloted a new and revamped computer science course for nonmajors called Computer Science 10: The Beauty and Joy of Computing. CS 10 is a lab-based class in which students learn the basics of programming that can be applied to any field of study. The class serves as a model for the new AP Computer Science course being developed by the National Science Foundation for high school students.

 

“We live in an era where folks are growing up digitally literate, but they are only literate as passive consumers of digital content,” Garcia said. “We believe that this is a crucial time where people need to be not just consumers but producers of their futures.”

 
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Computational Tinkering
The impact of computational thinking on our view of the world
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Machine learning could help us tackle depression

Machine learning could help us tackle depression | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

By detecting trends that humans are unable to spot, researchers hope to treat the disorder more effectively.


Recently, many artificial intelligence researchers have begun to develop ways to apply machine learning to medical situations. Such approaches are able to spot trends and details across huge data sets that humans would never be able to, teasing out results that can be used to diagnose other patients. The New Yorker recently ran a particularly interesting essay about using the technique to make diagnoses from medical scans.

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Complex Computational Thinking in Gameplay

Complex Computational Thinking in Gameplay | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Board games are an unexpected way to unlock computational thinking.


While computational thinking has been recognized as a valuable educational practice, there has been little research examining this skill in everyday practices. Computational thinking is not necessarily tied to a computer environment and instead can be applied to many planning tasks such as packing for a trip or playing a board game. This study examined computational thinking embedded in the collaborative play of a cooperative board game.

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How Digital Literacy Empowers Young Student Activists

How Digital Literacy Empowers Young Student Activists | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Social justice movements have increasingly turned to social media to organize. Hashtags such as #icantbreathe, #nodapl, and #bringbackourgirls have created increased awareness around issues affecting communities across the U.S. and internationally. Two researcher-educators explored digital literacy as a site for activist work with tween-aged students in New York. The two-year collaboration between these teachers aimed to promote inquiry, enhance student learning, and generate action toward social justice.

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Matthew Battles,  technology’s impact on our experience of art, culture, and the natural world, etc

The Associate Director of metaLAB digs deep for his upcoming book, TREE.

 

Matthew Battles is a maker and thinker whose work merges literary, scholarly, and artistic forms of inquiry. His writing on the cultural dimensions of science and technology appears in The American Scholar, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and The New York Times. At metaLAB, Matthew advances an agenda of creative research exploring the dark abundance of collections in libraries and museums; technology’s impact on our experience of art, culture, and the natural world; and the conditions of culture and experience in the context of deep time.

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Debating the Ethics of Machine-Enhanced Humans Is a Learning Curve

Debating the Ethics of Machine-Enhanced Humans Is a Learning Curve | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Philosophical frameworks give technological advancement a moral compass.

 

As human augmentation becomes more common for everything from improving memory to vision, public discourse on the ethics surrounding the practice have grown. Deus Ex is leading this conversation with their newly released ethical design framework for human augmentation.

 

How much can humans be altered before they are no longer considered human? Can robots who feel pain, learn, and respond emotionally be considered human? What if everyone around you adopts a special augmentation, but you don’t want it, do you have the right to say no? Deus Ex is working with academics, entrepreneurs, and developers to answer these questions.

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Did Media Literacy Backfire? – Data & Society: Points

Did Media Literacy Backfire? – Data & Society: Points | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Anxious about the widespread consumption and spread of propaganda and fake news during this year’s election cycle, many progressives are calling for an increased commitment to media literacy programs…
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Be Careful What You Code For – Data & Society: Points

Be Careful What You Code For – Data & Society: Points | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Technology can be amazingly empowering. But only when it is implemented in a responsible manner. Code doesn’t create magic. Without the right checks and balances, it can easily be misused. In the world of civic tech, we need to conscientiously think about the social and environmental costs, just as urban planners do.

Via Jim Lerman
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2016: A year in the life of the Lab – MIT Media Lab

2016: A year in the life of the Lab – MIT Media Lab | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

We’ve all been witness to some trying times over the past 12 months, both in the United States and across the world. In sharing some of the highlights of the past year, we are fully cognizant of the challenges ahead, of the importance of academic freedom, and of ways we can best address some of the most critical global needs.

Toward this end, I was one of more than 626 MIT faculty members who recently signed a statement upholding our values of science and diversity. In adding my name to the distinguished list of signers, I emphasized that today’s academic institutions must remain havens to protect diversity of opinions and the freedom to express those opinions when the political climate threatens to impinge upon those freedoms.

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Is this graphic novel STEM education’s secret sauce?

Is this graphic novel STEM education’s secret sauce? | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
A new graphic novel that uses computational thinking to teach students to code might be the next big thing in STEM education.

 

Curly Bracket, from Ashoka fellow and Swedish social entrepreneur Johan Wendt, is a combination textbook and graphic novel that builds students’ computational thinking skills.

It takes advantage of the graphic novel format to engage students with visual representations and active movement, and it shows with clarity each problem students must solve and why those problems are important.

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Craig Tashman - LiquidText will change the learning landscape

The CEO of LiquidText on changing the way we interact with digital text.

 

Craig Tashman is founder and CEO of LiquidText, a NYC based startup that develop products to help professionals and students find, understand, and share unstructured textual information. Tashman earned his Ph.D. in 2012 from Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing where he explored better ways to support deep, critical reading through flexible document representations. His previous research included interactive visualizations for desktop window management, visualizations for usable security, three-dimensional image creation, and data compression.

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Stop Teaching Programming, Start Teaching Computational Thought | Make:

Stop Teaching Programming, Start Teaching Computational Thought | Make: | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Educators want to teach programming to make a generation of coders, but even non-coders can benefit from learning computational thought.

 

Computational thinkers aren’t just programmers. They’re the people who can create lovely intricate patterns in Illustrator, or make a really cool gizmo in Minecraft, or make a MIDI synthesizer play crazy microtonal jazz solos. They understand not only how to make a computer speak, but they also have an imagination for what it could possibly say.


Via Jim Lerman, Bonnie Bracey Sutton
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Google: Race and gender gaps persist in computer science education

Google: Race and gender gaps persist in computer science education | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Google research with Gallup shows unequal access to K-12 computer science classes.

 

New research from Google shows that black students are less likely to have computer science classes in school and are less likely to use computers at home even though they are 1.5 times more interested in studying computer science than their white peers.

 

The findings are part a report released Tuesday by Google in partnership with Gallup that puts the spotlight on the racial and gender gap in K-12 computer science education. Google says its aim with the research, which surveyed thousands of students, parents, teachers, principals and superintendents, is to increase the numbers of women, blacks and Latinos in computer science.

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Here's What You Get When You Design a Chair With Algorithms

Here's What You Get When You Design a Chair With Algorithms | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
The Elbo chair is the culmination of a collaboration between human and machine.

 

THE ELBO CHAIR is unusual piece of furniture. Not for its looks—though the legs, back, and arms bear an uncanny resemblance to bones—but for how it came to be.

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Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: A Lovely Children’s Book About the World’s First Computer Programmer

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: A Lovely Children’s Book About the World’s First Computer Programmer | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

How a little girl with dreams of flying changed the world in footnotes.


One of the most interesting and timeless aspects of Lovelace’s story is that her foray into programming bore the mark of what Albert Einstein called “combinatory play,” which he considered the key characteristic of how his mind worked and which bespeaks the combinatorial nature of all creativity — the ability to connect the seemingly unconnected by cross-pollinating questions and insights across disparate domains to create something entirely novel.

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Kano: A Computer Anyone Can Make

Kano: A Computer Anyone Can Make | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Create-your-own computer kit opens new tech opportunities for kids.

 

Kano opens up the world of physical computing to kids. As computers have become more affordable and reliable, fewer people are learning what is going on inside them. Kano aims to change the way kids see computers through creating kits with all the pieces necessary to build a fully-functional computer. The Kano approach to learning follows three guiding principles: (1) simple steps, (2) storytelling, and (3) physical computing. After tying all these principles together, the overarching goal is to create a sense of play.

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An Augmented Reality Lego Set Helps MIT Design Healthier Cities

An Augmented Reality Lego Set Helps MIT Design Healthier Cities | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
When groups collaborate at the MIT Media Lab, the creativity soars.

 

When designers team up with engineers and computer scientists, the results can be greater than what any group produces on their own. Take, for instance, the augmented reality Lego set created in order to visualize urban design.

 

This construction used augmented reality to display data visualization as a moving process, keeping track of statistics like population density and transportation patterns. The team’s goal is to use the augmented reality Lego cityscape to analyze the impact of design on wellness. 

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The Rise of AI Makes Emotional Intelligence More Important

 

Develop the skills machines can’t replicate.

 

The booming growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), like most transformational technologies, is both exciting and scary. It’s exciting to consider all the ways our lives may improve, from managing our calendars to making  medical diagnoses, but it’s scary to consider the social and personal implications — and particularly the implications for our careers. As machine learning continues to grow, we all need to develop new skills in order to differentiate ourselves. But which ones?

 

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American schools are teaching our kids how to code all wrong

American schools are teaching our kids how to code all wrong | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

The typical coding apps don’t get at the heart of computer science. Instead they stay at the surface, teaching what is comfortable and catchy. In that sense, they are equivalent to the songs on today’s “Top 40”—fun to listen to but offering no real insight or understanding into music literacy, meaning, or theory. Computing and computer science is the equivalent of immersing in a thicker study of music—its origins, influences, aesthetics, applications, theories, composition, techniques, variations and meanings. In other words, the actual foundations and experiences that change an individual’s mindset.

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The Year of the Robot

Our favorite research articles about how robots are taking over the learning sector.

1. Robots Imitate Cognitive Development Capabilities

2. Building Better Robot Tutors

3. It's Getting Easier for Pre-K Kids to Learn Robotics

4. Playful Talk Enhances Collaborative Robotics Learning

5. Rethinking the Robot
.

 

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Lego targets pre-Mindstorms minds with its Boost educational kit

Lego targets pre-Mindstorms minds with its Boost educational kit | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Boost is an impressive kit. The five on-board building experiences cover a lot of ground, from a robot to a guitar, to quasi Lego “3D printer” that’s more like an assembly line Rube Goldberg-style device that pieces together its own Lego creations..

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DT10: Virtual Reality. We have virtual reality. What’s next is straight out of ‘The Matrix’

DT10: Virtual Reality. We have virtual reality. What’s next is straight out of ‘The Matrix’ | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
The fizzled fever dream of the ‘90s is finally real thanks to hardware scraps from the smartphone revolution, but where is VR taking us? And are we sure we really want to go there?

 

 

What is it like to walk in someone else’s shoes? Books allow us to imagine it, and movies allow us to see it, but VR is the first medium that actually allows us to experience it. As VR developers catch on, generating empathy may turn out to be one of the medium’s most unique and powerful abilities.

Jeremy Bailenson, the founder of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has spent years researching how VR may help us understand one another better, and the results are encouraging.

 


Via Bonnie Bracey Sutton
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NES Classic Edition sells out: What old games can teach a new generation

NES Classic Edition sells out: What old games can teach a new generation | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Old-school games like those of Nintendo's original console are being used to teach young programmers across the US.

 

One study led by Northwestern University learning technologist Uri Wilensky found that when high school students were tasked with recreating an existing video game, they were four times more likely "to draw inspiration from a game that could be played on an Atari or in an ‘80s arcade than on an Xbox or Play Station. Younger students are also cutting their teeth on programming with vintage games.

 

 

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Robots Imitate Cognitive Development Capabilities

Research confirms your sci-fi fears are becoming reality.

 

New research shows that robots have the ability to demonstrate cognitive evolution. Using theories on child development, researchers have run tests with robots to grasp a full understanding of their programmable learning abilities. The positive results show that robots have the ability to recognize both humans and avatars from their behavioral imitations. Simply put, this means they now have the ability to demonstrate the learning process that takes place in the minds of most infants.

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Should Every Child Know Computer Science?

Should Every Child Know Computer Science? | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
A group of nonprofits and educators wants all students, even kindergartners, to know the fundamentals.

 

More and more jobs are requiring some knowledge about how computers work. Not just how to start one up and surf the web, but how they actually run, how—at the simplest level—a series of inputs leads to a series of particular outputs.

 

Yet, across the United States, few children are being taught even the basics of computer science. It’s a discipline left largely to the self-motivated YouTube watchers and the kids lucky enough to be born into tech-minded families with resources.

 

 

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Do Computers Think - Deborah Kay's Blog

Do Computers Think - Deborah Kay's Blog | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Is computational thinking getting humans to think like computers or getting computers to think like humans? More fundamentally, do computers think?

Via Paul Herring
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