Leveraging Physical Play to Support Children's Computational Learning

Coding typically happens in sedentary ways in front of the screen, which may discourage young children who love to play and reinforce the sterotype that computing is an isolated space only focused on computers. As such, we are systematically investigating how physical play can be leveraged to provide active, social, and playful computational learning experiences for young people, including (1) how physical activities, learning, and technologies can be combined to support learning purposes for young people, (2) how computational thinking concepts and skills can be incorporated into physical play, and (3) designs of educational technologies and curricula that bring young people outdoors for computational learning through physically active ways. Taken together, this work lays a solid foundation for educational research, pedagogical innovations, and learning technology designs that leverage physical play in CS education for young people.

Relevant Publications

Yu, J., Hayden, R., & Roque, R. (2023) Exploring Computational Thinking with Physical Play Through Design. In the ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC '23). Chicago, IL, USA. [LINK]

Yu, J., Zheng, C., Tamashiro, M., Gonzalez-Millan, C. & Roque, R. (2020) CodeAttach: Engaging Young Children in Computational Thinking Through Physical Play Activities. In Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI '20), February 9–12, 2020, Sydney, NSW, Australia. [LINK]