Congratulations to Sarah Brown, Dr. Sharon Lynn Chu, and Pengfei Yin for the acceptance of their submission titled A Survey of Interface Representations in Visual Programming Language Environments for Children’s Physical Computing Kits into the ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference! An abstract of the work can be found below:
Physical computing toolkits for children expose young minds to the concepts of computing and electronics within a target activity. To this end, these kits usually make use of a custom Visual Programming Language (or VPL) environment that extends past the functionality of simply programming, often also incorporating representations of electronics aspects in the interface. These representations of the electronics function as a scaffold to help the child focus on programming, instead of having to handle both the programming and details of the electronics at the same time. This paper presents a review of existing physical computing toolkits, looking at the What, How, and Where of electronics representations in their VPL interfaces. We then discuss potential research directions for the design of VPL interfaces for physical computing toolkits for children.