Presented by:

Dan Garcia

from UC Berkeley

Dan Garcia is a Teaching Professor in the EECS department at UC Berkeley. He was selected as an ACM Distinguished Educator in 2012 and ACM Distinguished Speaker in 2019, and is a national leader in the "CSforALL" movement, bringing engaging computer science to students normally underrepresented in the field.

Thanks to four National Science Foundation grants, the "Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC)" non-majors course he co-developed has been shared with over 800 high school teachers. He is delighted to regularly have more than 50% female enrollment in BJC, with a high mark of 65% in the Spring of 2018, shattering the campus record for an intro computing course, and is among the highest in the nation! He is humbled by the international exposure he and the course have received in the New York Times, PBS, NPR, and others media outlets. He is working on the BJC Middle School curriculum.

Mary Fries

from Beauty and Joy of Computing, Education Development Center, Inc.

“Hide Blocks” is a transformative new feature that gives Snap! educators and curriculum developers the ability to make a “microworld” project in which only a few blocks are displayed to the user. If a user wishes to use a block that has been hidden, they can simply “unhide” it. We have utilized it extensively in UC Berkeley’s Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) course with our projects and exams, to limit the blocks students are allowed to use, and we will give a brief demonstration of these projects.

As heavy users (and huge fans) of the feature, we have collected ideas for improvements: Right now, there are hidden menu options to hide “all” or “none” of the blocks; could there be a feature to allow a user to show or hide all of the blocks of a particular category, perhaps viewed hierarchically? Could “hide/show” feature be more explicit so that a user could much more easily toggle the “hidden” (microworld) and “shown” (full Snap!) states? Could this option be then disabled for high-stakes exams (maybe unlocked with a password)? Is the “choose the blocks to hide” the right metaphor, or would “choose the blocks to show” be better? “Check to show” may be more intuitive, and currently, if a project has blocks that are hidden, and Snap! adds a brand new default block (e.g., combinations), it shows up in every microworld in the world, requiring lots of busywork to correct. Could we also selectively (and just as easily) hide elements of the user interface? We’d love to be able to remove the stage and corral for functional programming projects, where the goal is to have students work with and edit reporters (only).

20 min
Auditorium (Online)
Snap!Con 2023
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