1. Katherine Isbister
  2. https://www.katherineinterface.com/
  3. Professor
  4. Social Wearables: Enhancing Girls' Computational Learning and Motivation
  5. University of California Santa Cruz
  1. Ella Dagan
  2. http://www.elladagan.com
  3. Ph.D. Candidate
  4. Social Wearables: Enhancing Girls' Computational Learning and Motivation
  5. University of California Santa Cruz
  1. James Fey
  2. https://jamescfey.com/
  3. Ph.D. Student
  4. Social Wearables: Enhancing Girls' Computational Learning and Motivation
  5. University of California Santa Cruz
Public Discussion

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  • May 10, 2022 | 05:32 p.m.

    I love this idea so much. As a mother to a crafty 7th-grade girl, I can see that this is so well-thought-out! Congrats! 

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    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 05:46 p.m.

    Thank you! We've been so gratified by campers' responses thus far :)

    Katherine

  • Icon for: Emily McLeod

    Emily McLeod

    Facilitator
    Director of Teaching and Learning, Code.org
    May 10, 2022 | 07:48 p.m.

    Thanks so much for sharing this project, Katherine, I love the idea of incorporating live-action role playing with wearables into a program for girls! I’m wondering about some of your practical learnings from running the first two camps – did you make any changes between the first and second iterations of the camp? What lessons have you learned about facilitating the program that you will want to share with others when you develop your camp in a box?

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    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 05:45 p.m.

    Hi Emily, Thanks for the excellent question! Our learnings were complicated by Covid--the first camp ran over a 5 day summer week, while the second camp needed to be spread over two weekends (one a 3-day weekend) in February, as we adjusted to rising and falling Covid rates in our area. The two camper populations were different, too--the first was in a dense urban area with primarily campers who were African American, whereas the second was in a more rural/farming-adjacent area with more Hispanic campers. Despite these variations in context and population, we were able to sharpen the overall larp narrative and its intersection with the computational learning, and also, able to refine how we measured impact of the camp. One takeaway from both sessions was that the camp took a lot of people to stage well. So we're right-sizing it now as we run the next two sessions this summer, to ensure that what we put into the camp in a box will scale well people who want to run the camp. 

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 10, 2022 | 09:18 p.m.

    This is so creative! What kind of computing skills are students learning in this project? What about crafting skills? Do students need to know to sew, etc.? 

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    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 05:53 p.m.

    Hi Roxana,

    The campers are using MakeCode (a block-based environment) and get mini-classes that include CSTA-appropriate skills standards such as creating programs that include sequences, events, loops and conditionals, and more process-focused CSTA standards such as using an iterative process to create code, remixing others' code, and systematically identifying and fixing problems in the code.

    There is no need to sew for the class--we provide lots of approachable craft materials, here's a quote from the paper we just had accepted to the ACM DIS conference "Available crafting supplies included sticky tack, popsicle sticks, coffee stirrers, ribbon, temporary tattoos, butterfly wings, pre-made superhero costumes (capes and base-masks), glitter glues, hot glue guns, batting/poly fill, Velcro circle stickers, fabric scraps (various print patterns), organza fabric in various colors, packing perforated paper, foam sheets and packing foam pieces for construction, and tin foil pieces. Crafting tools available included scissors, a variety of types of glues, Sharpies, and tape."  We didn't provide formal crafting skills training, but had hands-on help from facilitators, tailored to what sorts of costumes/wearables the campers were aiming to create. 

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 15, 2022 | 06:14 a.m.

    Thanks so much, Katherine! I've gotten caught out with craft computing projects with kids not familiar with sewing, so your approach provides a smoother on-ramp.

     
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    Katherine Isbister
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    Katherine Isbister

    Researcher
    May 11, 2022 | 09:29 a.m.

    Thanks so much! 

  • Icon for: Katherine Isbister

    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 05:56 p.m.

    Thanks for the comments so far--very interested in feedback from those who balance crafting and computation in informal learning situations, and also, would love suggestions for how to capture detailed information about artifacts campers make without interrupting the flow of the overall camp narrative. Excited to be part of this showcase!

  • May 11, 2022 | 08:36 p.m.

    I watched your project video! really exciting to learn about the theme of campers at Anywear Academy embarking on a mission solving journey to different worlds, and how it was used to inspire computational thinking in middle school girls. What hardware and coding language was used to program and embed the wearable into the costumes? I also saw one of teams using motorized wheeled platforms. What did they use them for? Great project!!

  • Icon for: Katherine Isbister

    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 01:08 p.m.

    Hi Krishna, 

    The campers used MakeCode and the Micro:bit processor--we chose these because they are both very accessible and also, readily available for DIY activity after the camp. We actually send each camper home with their own Micro:bit. Another great thing about MakeCode is that you can use it via a tablet or smart phone, and many of our campers don't have a computer at home, but can use one of these kinds of devices. We really want them to be able to code and make after they finish the camp!

    The motorized wheeled platform was used for a 'creature' device in the story that the campers were trying to catch up with as part of their missions. Some campers ended up modifying this creature's code, too, and we are iterating the camp to include a wearable 'familiar' type creature (like a Pirate's parrot) that combines wearability with movement/mechatronics as some girls were really drawn to that. 

    Thanks for your kind words :)

    Katherine

  • May 12, 2022 | 12:50 p.m.

    I agree. Super exciting to see how you integrated fantasy role-playing with computational thinking! How fun, engaging and empowering for the young women involved!

  • Icon for: Katherine Isbister

    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 01:09 p.m.

    Thanks! Hope to have a camp-in-a-box with guidance out in the next year, so that others can run this camp as well, in their own context. What's great, too, is that both our camp partners will most likely continue to run these camps after our research funding is done, so the project will live on...

    Katherine

     
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    Jennifer Kidd
  • Icon for: Jan Cuny

    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 12, 2022 | 10:55 p.m.

    Looks really wonderful and I liked the fact that you did the pre and post surveys with good results.

    Could you talk more about the computing concepts that they learned and used? What were the computational aspects of the different problems they solved.

  • Icon for: Katherine Isbister

    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 01:20 p.m.

    Hi Jan,

    The campers are not assumed to have any prior computing knowledge, so we give them mini-classes in the basics, and they write very simple code. An example problem was that the campers needed to change the colors of their LED light strings on their wearables to the same color in order to collectively pass through a portal to another world. So, they had to use MakeCode to create a program that would display this color, and then all step through the portal together. Things got a little more complex from there, in terms of using sensing to trigger actions, for example, for puzzle solving. 

    Katherine

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    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 12, 2022 | 10:56 p.m.

    As a Daisy Girl Scout leader, I did wonder whether you’ve thought about promoting this through the Girl Scouts. What level of computing skills would a leader need? What hardware?

     

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    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 01:22 p.m.

    I think this could definitely be adapted to be promoted through Girl Scouts (I was a scout and loved the experience). Our 'camp in a box' will presume very little computing skill on the part of the leader, and all of the components we've selected have been chosen because they are readily available on maker websites such as Sparkfun, and not expensive. We are really hoping that exactly this kind of thing will happen! In year three, we will pilot our camp in a box with three different sites, so let me know if you (or another scout leader) might have interest in being one of our pilot sites :)

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    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 13, 2022 | 09:33 p.m.

    My troop will be Brownies then. Maybe too young?

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    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 09:34 p.m.

    Yes, perhaps a bit young--it's really aimed for middle schoolers... but maybe something we can think about for next project?

  • Icon for: Lauren Cage

    Lauren Cage

    Informal Educator
    May 13, 2022 | 03:01 p.m.

    This is amazing, I love the way the fantasy storytelling was central to the use of wearables and programming!

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    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 03:09 p.m.

    Thanks :)

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    Holly

    May 13, 2022 | 03:06 p.m.

    Great work Katherine! Excited for all the kids who get to participate in programs like this. Looks like a ton of fun.

  • Icon for: Katherine Isbister

    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 03:09 p.m.

    Thank you! We're hoping with sharing the camp in a box in year three that lots more kids will get to be part of a program like this.

  • Icon for: Laura Ettinger

    Laura Ettinger

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2022 | 11:00 p.m.

    Katherine, wow, this is wonderful! I love all of the different layers and pieces of this project. And it's so exciting that you'll be putting together the camp in a box so that many other children will benefit from this kind of program. I'm curious: were there things that surprised you about the campers' responses or reactions to Anywear Academy? 

  • Icon for: Katherine Isbister

    Katherine Isbister

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 14, 2022 | 05:33 p.m.

    Great question--I think a surprising thing was how enthusiastically the campers embraced solving missions together--it really seemed to empower them to be pro-active and work together even more so than we might have imagined. For some of the challenges, they brainstormed solutions we wouldn't have anticipated (not all of which involved technology) so in a sense we've had to re-engineer the challenges to make sure they are solved with tech. In the second camp we ran, the girls were driven to and from camp each day by staff, and staff anecdotally told us about how the campers were brainstorming and anticipating the next day's action on the rides to and from the camp, which was another sign of enthusiasm and interest. 

     
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    Laura Ettinger
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