My knowledge of the geography of some English cities improved greatly this summer …
Turtle trip 1 – Curry On in London
It was a real treat to be present at the keynote by Cynthia Solomon at the Curry On conference in London, and watch her tell the Logo story, from its origins and through its development, to the programmers of today, many of whom are waaay younger than Logo.
— magsamond (@magsamond) July 16, 2019
After the keynote, Cynthia joined some UK Computing At School [CAS] teachers hosted by Simon Peyton Jones of the National Centre for Computing Education for a round table discussion about computer science in schools. Good move – great conversation and exchange of views, it was a treat to be the representative of the CESI tribe at this table.
Round table discussion exchanging views on teaching of computer science and programming with @cynthiasolomon
Thanks to @SimonPJ0 and @cas_london_crc for facilitating this during #curryon
Glad to represent @cesitweets here today pic.twitter.com/sZ2OhJ0AeT
— magsamond (@magsamond) July 16, 2019
Turtle trip 2 – TurtleStitch atelier in Warwick University
Thanks to the hospitality and leadership of Prof Margaret Low who hosted a three day TurtleStitch atelier in the Warwick Manufacturing Group centre at Warwick University in Coventry. It was a chance to have space and time – in the lab and over meals – to develop ideas with each other, catch up and compare experiences, and plan for the near future (forthcoming Scratch conference) and the future future (SnapCon, Constructionism 2020). Working as a face to face group led by TurtleStitch developer Andrea Mayr Stalder, the group comprised Margaret Low, Robert Low, Joek de Montfort, Rebecca de Montfort, Richard Millwood; we were joined online by Susan Ettenheim in NYC and Michael Aschauer in Banff.
— Richard Millwood (@richardmillwood) August 19, 2019
To keep the @turtlestitch meetup going we’re having hard fun. @richardmillwood just tweaked @moenig ‘s Cesaro by introducing distortion, @RobJLow exploring depth of Hilbert curve as a way to pixelate imagery and I had fun with https://t.co/28LW2oMInE , see https://t.co/xuF9lpoD7M
— Scratch2015AMS (@Scratch2015AMS) August 21, 2019
My two take away tasks were – update the embroidery machine information page of the website set up by Susan to connect the growing global community of practice, and then chase up and invite users to add their details to same. Haven’t done it yet – heigh ho, heigh ho …
Turtle trip 3 – Turtlestitch at #Scratch Europe in Cambridge
One of the best features of a Scratch conference is that it is not at all uppity or exclusive, it welcomes all block-based programming projects. And so there was a welcome for Turtlestitch as a both a discrete workshop and an ongoing hands-on poster session. Both attracted serious interest and active participation by attendees.
The workshop in the Sixties Building: We had a packed house as Andrea introduced TurtleStitch to participants from all over the world, Joek did a short demonstration, and everyone set off on their programming and stitching challenge. My favourite was watching Jadga Hugle wrangle with the code so she could stitch out Alonzo, the logo of her own working life with SNAP:
Wuhuuuu! We made it and it worked beautifully pic.twitter.com/pMgyt1jA1y
— Snap! Cloud (@SnapCloud) August 24, 2019
The Italian delegates were there in force and enjoyed themselves – thank you for your enthusiasm, Angelasofia Lombardo and colleagues:
— AngelaSofia Lombardo (@TechnoAngela) August 24, 2019
— magsamond (@magsamond) August 24, 2019
The conversations among the educators present were really interesting and provocative; setting up a workshop like this is a huge collective effort, but when the result is what is was here, it is worth every effort. I think the ‘roadies’ might agree – looking at you, Robert Low and James Johnston, pictured here in ‘Hale & Pace’ ready-to-bounce stance (albeit at their other Scratch conference workshop gig, Tales for Tiles). Specially when folk describe it as a “wow” moment, as Neil Rickus did in his reflective Computing Champions blog post here.
— Neil Rickus (@computingchamps) August 24, 2019
The interactive ‘unposter’ session, ongoing in the foyer (close to the bar!): This proved to be a very busy and very worthwhile activity over Saturday and Sunday. Compared to the classic rather staid academic poster session, this was more like an unposter session. The machine – computer and embroidery – were both in constant use as visitor coded and stitched their designs. People wanted to know everything about the software, the machine, and logistics, the cost – it was non-stop. The final top moment for me was when Mutsa, a second level student from London, asked to make a design, and spend a long time concentrating on getting it exactly as she wanted it, and was so very pleased with the result of her work when she stitched it out on her conference bag – a perfect storm of learning !!
And so now, back to Cavan after turtling around London, Coventry, and Cambridge, it is about time for me to do some of my assigned TurtleStitch homework on the community website … check in there soon for updates. I will leave the last and most important image to be of Andrea, from whose brain all this came, introducing the workshop …