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How Else Should It Work? A Grounded Theory of Pre-College Students’ Understanding of Computing Devices

How Else Should It Work? A Grounded Theory of Pre-College Students’ Understanding of Computing... In order to understand and evaluate computing technology in their environment, students first need to be able to identify it. This task becomes increasingly difficult, however, as computing systems become more and more ubiquitous and invisible. Based on the analysis of semi-structured focus interviews with 28 German pre-college students, we present a grounded theory of their conceptions and reasoning related to the identification of computing within technical devices. At its core is the finding that many students seemed to differentiate technical artifacts with respect to three conceived levels of capability. Many household appliances, for instance, were very well seen as electronic and programmed, but still as too limited in their capability to warrant the presence of a “real” computer or to be related to informatics. Given the increasing versatility, power, and associated risks of modern embedded systems as well as the advent of the internet of things, this issue should clearly be addressed. Based on our grounded theory, we propose some first ideas for how this might be done. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) Association for Computing Machinery

How Else Should It Work? A Grounded Theory of Pre-College Students’ Understanding of Computing Devices

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Publisher
Association for Computing Machinery
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 ACM
ISSN
1946-6226
eISSN
1946-6226
DOI
10.1145/3226592
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In order to understand and evaluate computing technology in their environment, students first need to be able to identify it. This task becomes increasingly difficult, however, as computing systems become more and more ubiquitous and invisible. Based on the analysis of semi-structured focus interviews with 28 German pre-college students, we present a grounded theory of their conceptions and reasoning related to the identification of computing within technical devices. At its core is the finding that many students seemed to differentiate technical artifacts with respect to three conceived levels of capability. Many household appliances, for instance, were very well seen as electronic and programmed, but still as too limited in their capability to warrant the presence of a “real” computer or to be related to informatics. Given the increasing versatility, power, and associated risks of modern embedded systems as well as the advent of the internet of things, this issue should clearly be addressed. Based on our grounded theory, we propose some first ideas for how this might be done.

Journal

ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE)Association for Computing Machinery

Published: Nov 20, 2018

Keywords: Naturalistic inquiry

References