A Companion Technology Approach to CS1: Handheld Computers with Concept Visualization Software

James Allert

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

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

All incoming freshmen majoring in computer science at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) are required to purchase a handheld computer with wireless capability (HP/Compaq iPAQ). The integration of these devices into the CS1 curriculum was primarily achieved by authoring and distributing a number of applications written to allow students to interact with visualizations of key concepts using their handheld computers. Downloadable from the campus wireless network and used in class (large lecture and discussion) the contribution of these applications to the course was substantial. The handheld computers and accompanying visualization software served as course companions, instantly providing meaningful content and engaging instruction anywhere the student went, on campus or off. Students rated the concept visualization software as the most useful aspect of the course. The success of this initiative leads to several important conclusions about the relationship of handhelds to laptops as learning tools, the importance of visualization software and the successful integration of companion technology into the CS1 curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2003)
EditorsD. Finkel, D. Finkel
Pages134-138
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
EventProceedings of the 8th Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2003) - Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: Jun 30 2003Jul 2 2003

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiSCE)
Volume8

Other

OtherProceedings of the 8th Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2003)
CountryGreece
CityThessaloniki
Period6/30/037/2/03

Keywords

  • Handheld computer
  • PDA
  • Visualization

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