Organizing Principles

For CSExplore to succeed in engaging high school students, it needs to have a compelling (or at least interesting) user experience. Let's call this the "organizing principle". CSExplore can't just be a wikipedia site of local resources for computer science; that would be boring.

The purpose of this page is to document our exploration of ideas for the "organizing principle", or global user experience for CSExplore.

Augmented Reality as organizing principle

CSExplore could provide an augmented reality UI. For example, similar to Pokemon Go, the interface could overlay the student's current camera with objects related in some fashion to computer science concepts or careers.

Scavenger Hunt/Geo Caching as organizing principle

When the application opens the user is presented with a map of Hawaii with pins (icons) over various locations. Some of the pins can be clicked immediately, meaning they are available to a brand new user, while others are initially "locked", meaning that the user needs to complete some activities before they will be available for investigation. Some pins might have a special attribute (vibrating?) to indicate that they are time-limited; for example, a pin representing a high school hackathon to take place over a specific weekend at some point in the future.

Each pin represents something the student can learn about computer science in Hawaii. The location of the pin represents something related to the topic area. So, for example, there might be a pin over Jason Leigh’s lab at the University of Hawaii which when opened would reveal a learning opportunity related to computer visualization. A pin located at the beach could provide information about how computer science can be used to detect or model sea level rise. Pins over business locations could be used to provide information about internships useful to high school students. A pin over a taro patch could provide information about how computer science can help with agriculture.

The strong point of this organizing principle is that it really ties the information to Hawaii. By locking some pins, we can enforce a certain path through the material, in which more "advanced" modules could require completion of introductory ones.

We will need some way to assess the student to see that they've completed a module.

You can imagine leaderboards, badges, levels and other game mechanics.

Pidgin mode

This isn't an orienting principle, but might be a cool way of localizing. When the user opens the app, they have the option of selecting "pidgin mode". If selected, the prompts and various text would be provided in pidgin. We could hire someone like Lee Tonouchi to do the translation.

Your ideas here!

Please add new ideas as subsections to this document. Or add additional ideas and elaborations to the existing sections.

Last updated on by Philip Johnson