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Spit-not-so Prof Paul Curzon Queen Mary University of London With support from Google, D of E.

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Presentation on theme: "Spit-not-so Prof Paul Curzon Queen Mary University of London With support from Google, D of E."— Presentation transcript:

1 Spit-not-so Prof Paul Curzon Queen Mary University of London Twitter: @TeachingLDNComp With support from Google, D of E and the Mayor of London In collaboration with CHI+MED A joint research project with Swansea, UCL and City Universities

2 Aims Give you deeper understanding of core topics –Computational thinking understanding people transforming problems –Human-computer interaction and Interaction design –Data structures Give you practical ways to teach computing in a fun, thought provoking way –away from computers, focus on concepts Linked activity sheets and booklets can be downloaded from our website:

3 ‘Spit-not-so’: a word game SPIT NOT SO FAT FOP AS IF IN PAN Rules Take it in turns to claim a word –Circle with your colour Winner is first to hold 3 words containing the same letter Make notes to help you play

4 Tough to play? Why? Is it an easier or harder game to play than playing noughts and crosses?

5 What’s your game? I’ve been playing noughts and crosses …how about you? Place the words in a grid so that –all the Ns are in a line –all the Ss are in a line –all the Ps are in a line –all the Os are in a line and so on Mark moves with X & O SPITASSO IFFAT FOP INPANNOT

6 Data structures By organising the information in advance we make the game easier A list structure doesn’t help much A grid structure makes it easy to see the letter triples each person has collected Choose a good data structure –Be able to use a faster algorithm!

7 Interface Design It is not just about the way we organise information It is also about how we present that information. –Our brains are better at spotting visual patterns than remembering things –Easier for us to process visual patterns than words An important interaction design principle: –Design for recognition not recall Graphical user interfaces present information visually Command line interfaces are about dealing with words Which is easier to use?

8 Perfect Instructions? If we already have an algorithm for playing perfect noughts and crosses … we can now use it to play perfect Spit-not-so! Move 1: Go in a corner. Move 2: IF the other player did not go there THEN go in the opposite corner to move 1 ELSE go in a free corner … By transforming the problem we are able to use an existing solution - use an existing algorithm –A computational thinking technique!

9 Lessons The importance of data structures –Choice of data structure can make a problem easy or hard –The same issues apply in the design of computer systems Human computer interaction is important –Design for recognition not recall Computational thinking –Understanding people matters –Algorithmic thinking gives solutions we use over and over –Translating problems is one way to get a solution

10 Design for people making mistakes People DO make mistakes –Design the machines to help avoid the problems! If things go wrong –Don’t blame someone –Improve the machine so it can’t happen again You will save more lives than any doctor that way Computational thinking is problem solving for people!

11 More support On our website to support this session: Activity sheets Story sheets Slides Details of more worskshops/courses free unplugged sessions subsidised courses (e.g. GCSE programming) Twitter: @TeachingLDNComp

12 Thank you! Together we are Teaching London Computing Twitter: @TeachingLDNComp

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