Welcome to CSESI 2008: Activity + Reflection => Learning
Well, another year has passed, and we return to Haverford to again engage is activities and discussion (and two meals a day!) to explore the use of computing and the role of computing in K-12 education, especially but not limited to the sciences.
Last year I literally blurted out the title "Virtual Thinking," and it stuck to the point that many look at this year's workshop as VT2 -- however, I am hoping to suggest a more meaningful title, especially looking at the topics, so I am hoping to start a (long and deep) conversation about the use of reflection in conjunction with some activity/exercise to "induce" (produce?) learning.
Day 1 will start again with my colleague Paul Grobstein looking at the use of the virtual playing field of computation and simulation to generate actual changes in the brain (i.e., learning in the real world). I love hearing Paul lecture, he is the complete opposite of my style: deliberate, measured, reflective. Dora Wong will also visit in the afternoon to explore all the topics she could not get to last year :-).
Day 3 is my good friend Tom Cortina, who is flying in from CMU to talk about one of my favoriate approaches, if only for the title -- CS Unplugged. It's very popular at SIGCSE, and if we're lucky Tom might even touch on some of the topics he covers at CMU's CS4HS.
Day 4 will be my old friend Dan Falabella who will show how one uses media computation to get students to think about computing.
Day 5 will be my turn, looking at how I use music and songs and lyrics to reinforce computing concepts in a less formal way -- hey, I cannot compete with magic, but at least there will be singing in the aisles!
Please check back and share your thoughts here or otehr appropriate places at Serendip.