Unplugged programming

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CS unplugged or unplugged programming refers to creative ways to engage students with ideas from computer science and computational thinking without using a computer.

“Unplugged activities are not only a powerful way to introduce children to computing concepts, this work shows that they are also a powerful way to introduce these concepts to adult teachers.” (Curzon et al.)


  • turtleblocks. Laser-cuttable physical programming blocks for turtle graphics (Illustrator *.ai format).


(randomly chosen items, there is more ....)

  • Bell, Tim, Jason Alexander, Isaac Freeman, and Mick Grimley. "Computer science unplugged: School students doing real computing without computers." The New Zealand Journal of Applied Computing and Information Technology 13, no. 1 (2009): 20-29.
  • Curzon, P., McOwan, P. W., Plant, N., & Meagher, L. R. (2014, November). Introducing teachers to computational thinking using unplugged storytelling. In Proceedings of the 9th workshop in primary and secondary computing education (pp. 89-92). ACM. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2670767
  • Faber, H. H., Wierdsma, M. D., Doornbos, R. P., van der Ven, J. S., & de Vette, K. (2017). Teaching computational thinking to primary school students via unplugged programming lessons. Journal of the European Teacher Education Network, 12, 13-24. https://jeten-online.org/index.php/jeten/article/view/131
  • Feaster, Y., Segars, L., Wahba, S. K., & Hallstrom, J. O. (2011, June). Teaching CS unplugged in the high school (with limited success). In Proceedings of the 16th annual joint conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education (pp. 248-252). ACM. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1999817
  • Wohl, B., Porter, B., & Clinch, S. (2015). Teaching Computer Science to 5-7 year-olds: An initial study with Scratch, Cubelets and unplugged computing. In Proceedings of the Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (pp. 55–60). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press. https://doi.org/10.1145/2818314:2818340


  • Papert, S. Mindstorm: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas, New York: Basic Books.(1980).[10] Brooke, J. « SUS: a « quick and dirty » usability scale ». In P. W. Jordan, B. Thomas, B. A. Weerdmeester, & A. L. McClelland. Usability Evaluation in Industry. London: Taylor and Francis. (1996)