Distributed systems rule much of new technology today, as software programs exist across multiple computers, servers, phones, and smart devices. How can students learn to program these systems? Start with a visual programming environment, says Dr. Akos Ledeczi from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Ledeczi is an electrical and computer engineer who researches distributed systems and how to teach computer science. His research group created the NetsBlox block-based programming platform, based on SNAP and similar to Scratch, but it also has capabilities built-in for distributed or parallel programming. Ledeczi discusses the NetsBlox platform, their curriculum for teaching high schoolers, and their Roboscape project to link NetsBlox with robotics and cybersecurity education.
Episode cover art photo by Alex Knight from Pexels.
Related to this episode:
• Dr. Akos Ledezci: http://www.isis.vanderbilt.edu/akos
• MATLAB software: https://www.mathworks.com/products/matlab.html
• Scratch language: https://scratch.mit.edu/
• Snap language: https://snap.berkeley.edu/
• Netsblox: https://netsblox.org/
• Web APIs list from MDN: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API
• Roboscape: https://netsblox.org/cybersecurity
• Parallax ActivityBot 360: https://www.parallax.com/product/32600
• Article on Anki going out of business, from The Robot Report: https://www.therobotreport.com/anki-addresses-shutdown-ongoing-support-for-robots/
• C2STEM curriculum – https://c2stem.org/
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