Resources in this collection
Interconnections: Understanding Systems through Digital Design
“Young people growing up today will surely be called upon to address thorny problems that cut across global, interconnected systems: the environment, the economy, the global infrastructure. Few skills will be more important than the capacity to see, understand, and innovate systems.
—Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Executive Director, National Writing Project
Digital media is central in almost every aspect of daily life, most notably in how we communicate, understand political issues, reflect (co-)produce, consume, and share knowledge. Perhaps nowhere is this digital influence contested more than in education, where questions arise about the ability of traditional systems to prepare young people for the social, economic, and political demands of a complex and connected new century. From these concerns springs an innovative approach to support the development of systems thinking in young people; one that allows them to see how systems are at play in the digital contexts they regularly engage and one that puts them in the position of designers of those systems.
This collection highlights and supports the book series Interconnections: Understanding Systems through Digital Design. Each book of the series uses a design-based approach to learning and offers up a toolkit for supporting systems thinking in ways that are aligned with current standards and also relevant to youth interests in digital culture.
This innovative, design-based approach is useful for both in- and out- of-school settings, and was developed collaboratively by designers and educators from Indiana University’s Creativity Labs, Vanderbilt University, Institute of Play, the Digital Youth Network, and the National Writing Project.
Resources in this collection
Script Changers: Digital Storytelling with Scratch focuses on how stories offer an important lens for seeing the world as a series of systems and provides opportunities for young people to create interactive and animated stories about the systems around them. The projects in this book utilize the Scratch visual programming environment as a means to tell stories about how to effect change in youths' local communities.
Short Circuits: Crafting e-Puppets with DIY Electronics explores the field of electronics and "e-textiles," which involves making physical computing projects based in fabrics and other everyday materials. This volume focuses that exploration on the use of electronic hand puppets, sound-enabled storyboards, and DIY flashlight-enabled shadow puppetry in order to delve into literacy and storytelling.
Soft Circuits: Crafting e-Fashion with DIY Electronics explores the field of electronics and "e-textiles," which involves making physical computing projects based in fabrics and other everyday materials. This volume incorporates microprocessors into these materials and programs them with an accessible tool called Modkit to further enhance e-fashions like light-up wristbands and t-shirts, as well as solar-powered backpacks.