A WIP poster of TunePad will be presented at Interaction Design and Children Conference at Stanford University in June 2017.

Computational thinking skills will be important for the next generation of students. However, there is a disparity in the populations joining the field. Integrating computational thinking into artistic fields has shown to increase participation in computer science. In this paper, we present our initial design prototype for TunePad, From our preliminary testing, with children ages 7-14, we observed that our design actively engages learners and communicates how the programming blocks control the sounds being played. This testing is a prelude to more formal studies as we continue to improve the design and interface of TunePad. With this work, we intend to engage students in computational thinking who may not have otherwise been exposed, giving the opportunity to more people to enter the computer science field.

TunePad is a a sound composition tablet application controlled by a block-based programming environment. TunePad is designed to introduce middle-school aged learners to computational thinking and to prepare them for text-based coding environments. The project is a collaboration between the Adam Lab at Georgia Tech University and the TIDAL lab at Northwestern University. With this work, we intend to engage students in computational thinking who may not have otherwise been exposed, giving the opportunity to more people to enter the computer science field. We hope to balance playful, informal learning while also preparing learners for formal computing environments, like EarSketch, a computational music remixing tool.



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