18 March 2011

Using CCG cards to teach computer science

I published a new activity for teaching computer science searching/sorting concepts. It's designed for middle school students, although there's no reason why it wouldn't work for upper elementary or high school students.

Using CCG cards to teach searching/sorting

It introduces algorithms for searching and sorting by using Collectible Card Game (CCG) cards – like Magic the Gathering or Pokemon cards – as objects for the students to search/sort.

An advantage of using these cards is that they are easy to hold and don't take a lot of room, so each student can easily manage 10 cards on a standard school desk. And the activity scales to more or less cards, or students can work in groups if needed. The cards are also cheap (or free) if you're willing to look around, but you can always just go to the store and buy some (convenient if you're traveling and left your teaching props at home).

I've run this activity in a number of classes in different schools and it's a great way to demonstrate how these algorithms work.

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