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H-SICAS, a handheld algorithm animation and simulation tool to support initial programming learning

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3 Author(s)
Maria Marcelino ; University of Coimbra, Portugal ; Todor Mihaylov ; Antonio Mendes

Mobile devices, like PDAs and smart phones, are small, cheap and light machines capable of being used anytime anywhere. These and other characteristics make them very attractive from an educational point of view. As they have become more and more common and widespread, a crescent interest in developing software applications for them has raised too. Indeed, at present, we find quite easily many applications for them in various areas, including education. However, this is not yet the case for the area of programming learning. Programming learning can be quite difficult for the novice learner and during the years several approaches and tools have been proposed. Some were developed for desktop environments while others for Web-based environments. With the emergence of mobile devices it seems that the next step will include them. This led us to the development of H-SICAS, a handheld algorithm animation and simulation tool. This tool can be used to support initial stages of programming learning, using a procedural approach, and is based on SICAS, a desktop tool developed to achieve similar objectives that has been used with our students with some success. However, this involved several adaptations to be accomplished.

Published in:

2008 38th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference

Date of Conference:

22-25 Oct. 2008