Apps for social justice: Motivating computer science learning with design and real-world problem solving

Sarah Van Wart, Sepehr Vakil, Tapan S. Parikh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, we describe a twelve-week Apps for Social Justice course that we taught at an after-school program. Students read social justice literature, identified local community needs, and went through a design process to create fully functional mobile applications to address these needs. Using Nasir and Hand's concept of practice-linked identities [13], we argue that an integrative approach to introducing computer science - Where CS principles are used in pursuit of meaningful community goals - provides multiple opportunities for students to participate in software development while connecting these skills and dispositions to their own experiences and to larger social issues. Unlike a concepts-first approach, which introduces computer science ideas using small, often decontextualized examples, a practiced-based approach that builds on student experiences may foster a more motivating and meaningful learning environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationITICSE 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages123-128
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781450328333
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2014 Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference, ITICSE 2014 - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: Jun 21 2014Jun 25 2014

Other

Other2014 Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference, ITICSE 2014
CountrySweden
CityUppsala
Period6/21/146/25/14

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Keywords

  • App development
  • Apprenticeship
  • Computer education pipeline
  • HCI
  • Social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

Cite this

Van Wart, S., Vakil, S., & Parikh, T. S. (2014). Apps for social justice: Motivating computer science learning with design and real-world problem solving. In ITICSE 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference (pp. 123-128). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2591708.2591751