Arduino Action is a collaborative tool for understanding and creating with physical computing in high school. The app installed on the phone can control, document and monitor the electronics project. On the laptop that connects to the Arduino everyone can have an overview of what is happening. The white rounded rectangles (that are used in the documentation, on the screen and in the channels tool) show the values that the Arduino is reading (or writing) to the pins. Both the projects from the students and the reference is made in the same way (video with contextual information on top). In this way, this tool is shifting the experience of programming from an individual experience to a collaborative experience. The tool also allows for explorations before starting to actually program; which builds a basis for contextual understanding and sparks curiosity.
Within the field of education, computers like Arduino are increasingly being used to teach students relevant skills attitude and knowledge around technology. Based on interviews with experts, observations in the classroom, reflection with the teachers and a workshop with Arduino Education I sketched future visions that re-designs the tools to be more collaborative and fluid. Since education around these tools are often set in group contexts and this is also an important part of the learning; could we design tools that not just make it possible but invite for collaborative interactions. Also, how could the tools allow for sketching and iterating more fluidly so reflection, action and re-action cycles could be smaller and allow for more exploration and learning? After the research I’ve been experimenting with different ways of representing values; different ways to think about what ‘code’ is and explored different ways that we can encourage teamwork and collaboration.
The result is a tool that shifts the paradigm and preconception around what programming is and tries to make use of the fact that these tools are taught in groups by letting multiple people work together on understanding and creating their project.