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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/1778

Title: GameBlocks: an entry point to ICT for pre-school children
Authors: Smith, AC
Keywords: Concretizing tools
Intelligent tangible learning objects
Illiterate programmer
Issue Date: Apr-2007
Citation: Smith, AC. 2007. GameBlocks: an entry point to ICT for pre-school children. Meraka Innovate Conference, CSIR Convention Centre, Pretoria South Africa, 18-20 April 2007, pp 5
Abstract: The authors propose a system designed for pre-school children that offers an alternative introduction to the world of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), specifically computer programming. Illiterate children can construct simple controlling sequences that control a toy humanoid robot, using acrylic instruction blocks placed onto intelligent programming trays. The system does not make use of a traditional computer and is potentially well-suited for communities where there is no easy access to computers. Initial results from workshops are discussed and areas for improvement highlighted. The instruction blocks are described in terms of the material used, how the functions are encoded using magnets, and the symbols used to represent these functions. The programming trays are described in terms of the sensors used and their interconnection to the controlling electronics which is at the heart of GameBlocks. The associated electronics implement simple logic that detects which blocks, together with their sequence, have been placed on the trays. It then sends appropriate commands to the toy robot. The principles on which other systems function are briefly given. Our system differs from those of other researchers because of its simplicity. Informal results on how adults interact with GameBlocks are briefly given
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/1778
Appears in Collections:ICT in education, youth, gender
General science, engineering & technology

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