Physical Computing Team: The Origins

After Sylvia’s private talk with each of us couple of two weeks ago, we (Cassia, Alphonse, Per-Ivar, and Angela) had funnily enough formed a working team, and our first meetup related to Physical Computing took place on Sunday (28th of January 2017).  

In our first online meeting we felt very excited to be working together. Although we live in very distinct areas of the globe (Italy, Rwanda, Netherlands and Brazil), we share many similar interests and feel that we can learn a lot from each other.

We all work with kids and adults, but in very different contexts in terms of: cultural, social and political stage of  “tech-related” evolution. Although, even with this differences, we feel the common need to create a social environment, both physical and digital (for students, for teacher, for everybody) where we can promote more conscious, active and creative relationships with technology.

To do so, we feel that learning in a constructionist way about coding the physical and digital world can help our students to become familiar with basic electronics concepts in an meaningful and creative way.

Since we are concerned about helping our communities in this way, we think that one of our tasks is to share resources and inspirations.

Everyone of us is already working on it with many interesting projects so it was natural for us to start sharing resources and reflections about how to introduce and scaffold learning about coding, electronics and hardware in a constructionist way. Suddenly it becomes clear that we can join the forces to reach our common goal.

While imagining how to do this, we took some inspirations from Papert’s words about technologies that supports learning:

For a technology to be effective, it should provide easy ways for novices to get started (low floor) but also ways for them to work on increasingly sophisticated projects over time (high ceiling).

Together, we aim to develop a collection of resources that can be welcoming for the beginners, allow the development of more sophisticated projects (Arduino code, Python, microcontrollers) and inspire creativity through tinkering.

Around this resources everyone of us is interested in creating a local community of users (students, teachers, makers) where to enrich and evolve the collection itself. In this way, this resources could be created and refined locally with groups of teachers and students and shared with others to inspire the development of new ideas. We feel that having this cross nation common folder allows us to collect more resources, experiment more stuff and learn from each-other experiences.

Working in this way we’ll have the chance to see how every community is evolving and reflect about that to understand the needs and provide solutions but…most important…we can help each-other when things get hard 🙂

We feel very happy to be sharing ideas with each other, and hope our context differences might leverage and learnings and practices.

If you like you can join us to our Slack Group: FabLearn Physical Programming to talk, discuss, share or ask for help..Everybody’s welcome!!

Here is the full video of our first online meeting. The video starts with Alphonse Habyarimana, then Cassia Fernandez from 17:57, next Per-Ivar Kloen from 25:44, and finally Angela Sofia Lombardo from 41:40.