Making Technology Inclusive Through Papercraft and Sound
Introducing the Love to Code Platform
The participation of women in computer education is low; undergraduate classrooms in Germany were only 10% female in 2000. The picture at the primary school level is fuzzier, as students do not declare majors at that level, but evidence indicates the trend starts from a young age. Can we make computer education more gender-inclusive? Presenting technology in familiar, non-threatening contexts can lead to more balanced gender participation. For example, Chibitronics uses the context of papercraft to present electronics to beginners; the familiarity of papercraft improves the participation of women of all ages in the creation of electronics. Based on these learnings, we have devised the “Love to Code” platform, an open source hardware-to-cloud stack which combines the familiarity of paper craft with a web-based, driver-free embedded firmware development environment based on FSK audio provisioning via a headphone jack. In this talk, we will dive into the novel open source technical contributions of this platform, which includes the audio-based provisioning protocol and the unique rigid-flex design of the circuitry enabling papercraft integration, as well as the multi-threaded client OS and cloud infrastructure required to complete the picture. This combination of new technology with familiar interfaces aims to lower the barrier to computer education, thus making coding a more accessible and inclusive activity.
bunnie loves hardware. He loves to make it, and to break it; he loves the smell of it.
His passion for hardware began in elementary school, and since then he has garnered a PhD at MIT in EE, and has designed nanophotonic silicon chips, wireless radios, consumer electronics, robotic submarines, and other things. He believes hardware is delightful in part because there are no secrets in hardware; you just need a better microscope. Likewise, he is a proponent of open source hardware, and is an active contributor to the ecosystem. At chumby, he designed several open source hardware platforms, some of which had found its way to the shelves of retailers around the world. Recently he helped to create Novena, an open-source hardware and software laptop, and Chibitronics, a new way construct electronics on unconventional materials such as paper using circuit stickers. bunnie is also an educator; he serves as a Research Affiliate for the MIT Media Lab, technical advisor for several hardware startups and MAKE magazine, and shares his experiences manufacturing hardware in China through his blog. He currently lives in Singapore.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.