Code Bits: Tangible Programming Language for Kids
We have developed Code Bits, which is a paper based tangible computational thinking toolkit that is inexpensive and can be used by students to engage in activities that aim in improvising their computational thinking skills.
The students create programs using the tangible paper bits on any flat surface and use the Code Bits mobile application to process the code. Code Bits, mobile application can run on any android device with a camera and makes use of augmented reality based games and activities to improve the computational thinking skills of K-12 students. The entire toolkit can be used by multiple students collaboratively to engage in such activities.
What are we trying to solve?
In the past few years, there has been a lot of research done on the tangible computational thinking toolkits for the K-12 education, due to the fact that computation thinking has been identified as one of the critical skills that needs to be a part of regular K-12 curriculum. However, most of the tangible computational thinking toolkits that are being developed are quite expensive and require higher financial aids to be deployed in real world classrooms in the developing countries.
A Look At The Past Research
Our Concept: How are we trying to solve the problem?
Components of the Code Bits Toolkit
Each of the paper bit represents a particular command or a function. These bits can be connected to each other on any flat surface to create the programs and can promote easy collaboration to solve problems amongst peers.
Each activity board has a different set of activity or problem that kids are supposed to solve using the Paper Bits. Different activity boards can act like different levels which teach computational thinking skills depending upon the different standards.
Code Bits Android Application
Mobile Appication is used to scan the code written through paper bits and compile it. Then on pressing the play button, the compiled code is executed on mobile as a 3D augmented reality version of the activity for which the code has been written.
See The Prototype In Action
For development purpose of the entire toolkit, we have made use of Unity 3d integrated along with Qualcomm Vuforia SDK and Android SDK. The Vuforia SDK allows easy implementation of augmented reality frame work on android devices. Vuforia SDK has a set of 512 distinct frame markers that can act as markers for recognition and we have used that to create the paper bits.