Preschool Computational Thinking

Producers from WGBH and Kentucky Educational Television and researchers from EDC have been collaborating on the research and development of brand-new computational thinking activities for preschoolers! These fun hands-on activities and apps (not yet published) were all created as part of a research project funded by the National Science Foundation called Integrating Computational Thinking into Mathematics Instruction in Rural and Urban Preschools.

Not sure what computational thinking means? Computational thinking (CT) is a creative way of thinking that empowers children to use systematic strategies while solving problems or reaching a goal. CT allows children to identify problems/goals and then brainstorm and generate solutions that can be communicated and followed by computers or humans.

CT can be learned at a young age, and it can be practiced in non-programming contexts (in other words, without a computer). CT is not the same thing as coding or computer programming—instead, it’s a stepping stone that can help children learn these important skills when they get older. Practicing CT skills can also benefit children by strengthening their early math skills.

As children do these activities and play these apps, they will be practicing basic math skills, including: counting, one-to-one correspondence, ordinals, sequencing, and identifying geometric shapes. At the same time, they will be learning three core CT skills: sequencing, debugging, and modularity.

Check out the project in this video.

 

© 2019 WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved. Funding provided by the National Science Foundation. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1640135. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Tell Some Pinkatastic Stories!

 

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What’s sparkly, pinkatastic, and fun to do with your kids or on your own?

The latest digital game from PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC, PINKCREDIBLE STORY MAKER, lets you choose fun and fantastical settings, characters, and props from the WGBH children’s series, and imagine your own pinkcredible adventures starring Pinkalicious, Peter, and their friends. It’s a fun way to practice storytelling and use creativity and imagination.

It’s available on the series website and in the PBS Kids Games App.

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The digital team for this PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC game was Louise, Jolin, Sophie, Becca, Anessa, and Sienna with support from Melissa, Dorothea, Nicole, Anthony, and Kacie.

New Molly Games!

The Molly of Denali digital team is excited to announce the launch of two new games!

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You can find “Alaskan Adventure” and “Veggiezilla” on our new games hub at pbskids.org/molly/games.

In these new games, you can travel by plane to different habitats in Alaska to take photos of the the animals you see to add them to a journal, and you can grow lots of giant vegetables in Trini’s garden–and maybe win first prize at the Alaska State Fair!

The games are currently available on the Molly website, and will roll-out to the Molly of Denali app and PBS KIDS Games App soon!

The talented team that made these games and the new website features includes Becca, Nolan, Amelia, Kit, Eric, Mike, Melissa, Bill, Sienna, and Elizabeth.

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We’re Hiring a Designer!

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We’re looking for an Associate Digital Designer who combines three core Practices

  • Visual Design — the fundamentals of composition, typography, graphic form, color theory, etc.
  • Animation Design — applying visual design principles across a timeline to create motion graphics and kinetic type
  • Production Design — mastery of Adobe Creative Suite and other essential design tools to output deliverables

… in service of three key Functions

  • Children’s Game Designer — apply educational and/or learning goals to engaging games for kids
  • Web Designer — design for websites, apps, social media, and other digital environments
  • Graphic Artist — create new graphics, either by manipulating existing or illustrating original art

For more, check out the full job description.

Moonlight Mazes!

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Today sees the launch of the latest ARTHUR HTML5 game, Moonlight Mazes!

Buster and D.W. are visiting the Read family farm, exploring the corn mazes at night. It’s your job to help them collect animals and rocks in each maze, but be careful: the mazes get harder as they go along.

So bring your sense of adventure (and your sense of direction) to explore the quiet wonder of nature at night! And in case you get nervous, rest assured that Buster and D.W. will be with you all the way!

The team includes Jeff (Design) who heads off this week to begin a career in teaching. We’ll miss you and all the great work you’ve done for ARTHUR and so many other projects. We also had Eric (Tech), Elizabeth & Kimberlee (Editorial), Kate (Business Manager), and Gentry (Producer).

You’ll find the game on the ARTHUR web site and in the PBS Kids Games App.

Moonlight Mazes Maze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission: Water – VR for classrooms

msvrpromographic3With classroom support materials newly launched at PBS LearningMediaMission: Water is Children’s Media and Education’s first virtual reality project.

It’s a pair of linked apps (one for VR headsets, one for desktop or tablet) offering middle school students a unique experience in the search for water in the solar system. The project includes a parallel experience to allow one player at a time to be an Explorer (wearing a VR head-mounted display).

Students also take turns serving as Mission Control, to collect data using a desktop computer, and as Navigator, guiding the Explorer in the physical space during the game. Players work together to review information and decide the optimal places in the solar system to collect water in support of a fictionalized mission.

The project’s free VR app was officially unveiled by Microsoft as part of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference – here is one high school teacher’s reaction to it: https://vimeo.com/344996078

ISTE_feedback from wgbhkids on Vimeo.

Molly Goes to the Kennedy Center

PBS KIDS will be demoing our Molly of Denali games as part of the 7th Annual ED GAMES EXPO – a ‘Showcase of Government Supported Educational Learning Games and Technologies.’

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DATE: Thursday, January 9, 2020, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

LOCATION: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW, Washington, D.C.

RSVP: The Expo is free and open to the public. Attendees must RSVP online to gain entry