South Fayette High School students, Ben Kenawell, Radhir Kothuri, and Varun Thangavelu, traveled to Pepperdine University in California, to present at the Workshop on the Impact of Pen and Touch Technology in Education (WIPTTE), March 21-23, 2013. Students presented on Thursday, March 21, from 11:40 – 12:10pm on Integrating Pen-based Flashcards Application into Classrooms and also presented poster sessions each day.
South Fayette juniors Ben Kenawell and Radhir Kothuri and senior Varun Thangavelu embarked on a software development project; redesigning a pen-based application to work within K-12 education. In 2012 SFHS students were invited to take part in a software development incubator project, which was created, by Aileen Owens, Director of Technology and Innovation, and supported by Shad Wachter, Instructional Technology Assistant. The students worked under the direction of Ananda Gunawardena, Computer Science Professor, Carnegie Mellon University throughout the summer on their project called FLASHCARDS which is currently being alpha tested by Mr. Kugler’s third grade classroom at South Fayette Elementary School. The students are using the Flashcard project to reinforce the vocabulary for computational thinking concepts, computational practices, and habits of mind, now being introduced to 3rd -7th graders through their work with Scratch. Scratch is a software program developed at MIT Media Lab to introduce young students to programming using blocks of code.
The WIPTTE committee stated the reason for the acceptance of the students’ work was that “their abstract represents valuable ideas about the integration of pen-based technology with deep learning and standards-based education.” The students’ paper will be published in the online published proceedings, which is a significant accomplishment for high school students. The purpose of this conference which has been held annually since 2006 is to build the research and practice communities in current and next generation pen and touch technologies in education and the students’ project will contribute to the new K-12 emerging strand. Attendees of this annual conference include professors, technologists, industry experts all of whom are highly influential in the various sectors of pen technology for learning. WIPTTE is committed to student involvement in the generative side of teacher-student collaboration. Additional information about WIPTTE can be found at http://www.wipte.org/. Their presentation can be seen above, and their reflections are included in this blog.