Brian Silverman's research while affiliated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other places

Publications (20)

Conference Paper
ScratchJr is a graphical programming language based on Scratch and redesigned for the unique developmental and learning needs of children in kindergarten to second grade. The creation of ScratchJr addresses the relative lack of powerful technologies for digital creation and computer programming in early childhood education. ScratchJr will provide s...
Article
Full-text available
Scratch is a visual programming environment that allows users (primarily ages 8 to 16) to learn computer programming while working on personally meaningful projects such as animated stories and games. A key design goal of Scratch is to support self-directed learning through tinkering and collaboration with peers. This article explores how the Scrat...
Article
Full-text available
"Digital fluency" should mean designing, creating, and remixing, not just browsing, chatting, and interacting.
Article
Full-text available
When Moshe Vardi, Editor-in-Chief of CACM, invited us to submit an article about Scratch, he shared the story of how he learned about Scratch: A couple of days ago, a colleague of mine (CS faculty) told me how she tried to get her 10-year-old daughter interested in programming, and the only thing that appealed to her daughter (hugely) was Scratch....
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we present ten guiding principles for designing construction kits for kids, informed by our experiences over the past two decades:* Design for Designers* Low Floor and Wide Walls* Make Powerful Ideas Salient -- Not Forced* Support Many Paths, Many Styles* Make it as Simple as Possible -- and Maybe Even Simpler* Choose Black Boxes Car...
Article
Full-text available
This panel will address pedagogical needs for revisiting the role of computer programming for student learning. We will explore advances in programming platforms that enable students to create compelling projects with new technologies, and discuss the affordances of these new initiatives. We will address how these tools and techniques can be integr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Scratch is a networked, media-rich programming environment designed to enhance the development of technological fluency at after-school centers in economically-disadvantaged communities. Just as the LEGO MindStorms robotics kit added programmability to an activity deeply rooted in youth culture (building with LEGO bricks), Scratch adds programmabil...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Scratch is a networked, media-rich programming environment designed to enhance the development of technological fluency at after-school centers in economically-disadvantaged communities. Just as the LEGO MindStorms robotics kit added programmability to an activity deeply rooted in youth culture (building with LEGO bricks), Scratch adds programmabil...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we introduce Folk Computing: an approach for using technology to support co-present community building inspired by the concept of folklore. We also introduce a new technology, called “i-balls,” whose design helped fashion this approach. The design of the i-ball environment is explained in terms of our effort to simultaneously preserv...
Article
We present the design of a construction kit, for building computational devices, called MetaCricket. MetaCricket consists of a set of hardware modules and the integrated software, which runs both on a development computer and within the MetaCricket hardware. MetaCricket provides a flexible interactive development environment for trying out new hard...
Article
Full-text available
When does something stop being a machine and become a creature? From a very early age, children find movement captivating. For centuries, we have been fascinated by the inanimate brought to life. The Jewish legend of the Golem, a hunk of clay brought to life by God, has been succeeded by the story of Frankenstein, mechanical automatons, 2001's Hal,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we describe the material of a construction kit designed to allow children to build their own handheld and wearable devices to meet their interests and passions. Children don't work with these machines, they learn, play and grow with them. Informed by the types of projects that children have done with this material in the context of ed...
Article
Full-text available
Meme Tags are part of a body of research on GroupWear: a wearable technology that supports people in the formative stages of cooperative work. Conference participants wear Meme Tags that allow them to electronically share memes - succinct ideas or opinions - with each other. Alongside of the person-to-person transactions, a server system collects i...
Article
Full-text available
We have built a set of computationally-augmented name-tags capable of providing information about the relationship between two people engaged in a face-to-face conversation. This paper puts forward criteria useful for the design of such interpersonal augmentation, experiences that inform the principles, and initial evidence of their success.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we discuss the applications and implications of the Programmable Brick-a tiny, portable computer embedded inside a LEGO® brick, capable of interacting with the physical world in a large variety of ways. We describe how Programmable Bricks make possible a wide range of new design activities for children, and we discuss experiences in...
Article
Full-text available
In many educational settings, manipulative materials (such as Cuisenaire Rods and Pattern Blocks) play an important role in children's learning, enabling children to explore mathematical and scientific concepts (such as number and shape) through direct manipulation of physical objects. Our group at the MIT Media Lab has developed a new generation o...

Citations

... = 0.27) to be included in the analyses. The experimental group trained on SOM; those in the control group received a computer-based training on coding using Scratch, a programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten (MIT) Group, which allows children to create interactive stories, games, animations and simulations 74 . Each game was administered under the supervision of an expert experimenter ensuring that participants were focused and that they remained motivated, encouraging them whenever needed. ...
... Blikstein (2013) traces the history of these toolkits back to the same research center from which Constructionism grew: MIT's Media Lab and the LEGO group. Early robotics toolkits include LEGO bricks (Sargent et al., 1996), which served as an antecedent to the popular line of Lego Mindstorms construction kits still in use today. As part of this work, designers sought to give learners more direct access to the underlying computational capabilities, moving beyond the "black box", making underlying processes more visible and accessible . ...
... Visual programming tools and environments such as Scratch, Scratch Jr., Snap!, and App Inventor are becoming increasingly popular in K-12 educational contexts (Grover & Pea 2013;Flannery et al., 2013;Morelli et al., 2011;Saritepeci, 2020;Scherer et al., 2020). Saez-Lopez et al. (2016) performed a quasi-experimental study, which highlighted significant improvements regarding the learning of programming concepts, logic, and computational practices among 5th-and 6th-grade students utilizing the visual programming language-Scratch. ...
... Tinkering has been characterised as having "high ceilings, low floors, and wide walls" (Resnick & Silverman, 2005), and as such many have argued that it is well-positioned to broaden students' participation and engagement in learning (e.g., Buchholtz et al., 2014). Similarly, in this study, we referred to these three characteristics of tinkering to design for student learning and student agency. ...
... Twitter, Instagram), provide a platform for people to take part in some form of virtual community. Such communities can offer individuals some insight in their position and role in their social context [3]. But the largest interest in the design of these media is Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. ...
... Turkle and Papert advocate for educational environments to accept this framing in order to broaden access to computational practices by countering perceptions of computation as primarily analytic. Rather than discouraging creative or artistic goals in making with computation, constructionists argue that these ventures allow learners to meaningfully combine prior interest and passion to engage with new domains of knowledge (Martin et al., 2000;Papert, 1980a;Resnick, 2006). While constructionist environments are designed with these principles in mind, the broader computer science community struggles with perceptions and practices around computation. ...
... Educational technologies are becoming increasingly critical. Among these, edutainment artifacts provide students with a pleasurable and meaningful learning experience through hands-on training using programming bricks (Resnick, Martin, Sargent et al., 1996). Educational robots are a highly popular form of edutainment artifact used in a wide range of subjects and classroom contexts. ...
... In a panel discussion on the educational value of computer programming diSessa [10] proposes the idea that the intellectual power the programming representations can have for learning science is at least comparable to, if not greater than, algebra. We can easily adopt it in the context of learning mathematics -gaining the flexibility of moving from a programming to algebraic representation of a sequence contributes to a deeper understanding of the mathematical ideas. ...
... This call follows an over two-decades-long history of researching technology that suits interpersonal interactions in the "same place, same time". Early works studied wearables [3,21,52] and public displays [46] to present personal information to collocated people. With the advent of mobile devices, researchers investigated self-expression [55] and picture sharing [43] by leveraging the proximity of people for engagement through technology. ...
... Visual languages for programming are distinguished from text-based source-code, providing multidimensional [1] interactive representations. Initially, they became popular as the main tools in the early teaching of programming, with environments such as Scratch [2] and App Inventor [4], which enable students to develop simple applications, games, animations, stories and more. Commercial tools like Lego Mindstorms Ev3 [25], building on the original foundations of Mindstorms [3], offered a flow-based visual language for software-programmed electromechanical components. ...