Sunday, 6 November 2016

How to be an Unplugged Artist

A recently released book Teaching Computing Unplugged in Primary Schools  edited by Helen Caldwell (University of Northampton) and Neil Smith (Open University) has a number of interesting chapters by authors who are passionate about how computing is taught in schools. The central theme is unplugged activities, without using computers, but still teach the fundamental of computational thinking.

Ok, confession time. I co-wrote, along with Katharine Childs (Code Club), Chapter 3 Artists so I am biased here, but I believe in the central theme of Unplugged Computing. Computing, and Computational Thinking in general,  is not just about programming and using a computer (though using computers and  programming are vitally important to Computing) but it is also about many other things including problem-solving, being creative and working collaboratively.

Chapter 3 is about linking these computational thinking ideas to produce visual art, by applying computing principles including  repetition, following and refining algorithms, and abstraction. The chapter also looks, how these links have already being made, with examples such Sol Le Witt where not all the work that was produced by the artist himself, but some by others following his written instructions - in other words an algorithm. There is even a game Thomas's Tangles

The other chapters make links with areas such as Robots, Musicians, Explorers, Magicians, Gamers, Cooks and Scientists.


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All views and opinions are the author's and do not necessarily reflected those of any organisation they are associated with. Twitter: @scottturneruonAll views are those of the author and should not be seen as the views of any organisation the author is associated with.

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