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On the Role of Unplugged Programming in K-12 Education
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Computer and System Science.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Computer and System Science.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Systems and Technology.
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on e-Learning, Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark, 7-8 November 2019 / [ed] Rikke Ørngreen, Mie Buhl and Bente Meyer, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2019, p. 224-230Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The integration of programming in K-12 setting is a global phenomenon with different implementations in different countries. In Sweden this is a rapid process where programming should be a part of K-12 mathematic and technology with an implementation during 2018 and 2019. The time frame has been narrowly defined, but there are few directives considering which types of programming that should be used. Three main programming types are textual programming, block programming and unplugged programming, this study has a focus on unplugged programming. The research question to answer was: Which are K-12 teachers attitudes on the role of unplugged programming in education? 

The research study has been a qualitative cross-sectional study with the aim to collect teachers' attitudes towards unplugged programming halfway through their introductory programming course. Cross-sectional study is an approach to capture snapshots of an ongoing process at a given point in time. Data were collected from discussions and online postings during a workshop in the above-mentioned programming course. Participants postings have been grouped into categories in a content analysis based on the frequency of occurrence and relevance for answering the research question. 

Findings show that most teachers see a benefit of unplugged programming as a means to learn the fundamental programming concepts in their teaching and learning activities. However, there are different opinions on when this unplugged introduction should occur. Some teachers also pointed out that unplugged programming could be used as an alternative to block programming and textual programming when the digital environment lacks or fails. Conclusions are that unplugged activities are a valuable complement to block programming and textual programming, but teachers have different opinions on the optimum age group for unplugged programming activities. The recommendations for K-12 teachers is to seriously consider the unplugged complement, both for pedagogical reasons and as a never-failing analogue backup. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2019. p. 224-230
Keywords [en]
Unplugged programming, Block programming, Textual programming, K-12 education, Teacher professional development
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-37649DOI: 10.34190/EEL.19.049ISBN: 978-1-912764-41-9 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-37649DiVA, id: diva2:1369126
Conference
European Conference on e-Learning 2019 (ECEL2019)
Available from: 2019-11-11 Created: 2019-11-11 Last updated: 2019-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Humble, NiklasMozelius, PeterSällvin, Lisa
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