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Blocks and Beyond 2021 will be a virtual one-day workshop whose main goal is to encourage discussion among developers, educators, and researchers in the area of blocks programming environments. The focus will be on activities that emphasize interaction and sharing of recent work and work-in-progress. Tentative workshop plans include the following:

  • Affordance bakeoff activity: this is being developed together with Alex Repenning and Ashok Basawapatna, and is inspired by their SIGCSE 2021 paper and the companion video on affordances in blocks languages. In this activity, participants will try to implement challenge tasks in one of several blocks environments. This will be followed by a discussion on how the affordances of the different environments affected the ease of implementation.
  • Blocks playgrounds: these demo/poster sessions have been one of the most popular features of previous workshops. Participants may bring demos and posters of new or upcoming work for sharing and discussion.
  • Campfire discussion: an open-ended discussion among developers, educators, researchers, and users about the current state and future of blocks environments.

Unlike previous incarnations of this workshop, there will be no research papers or position statements at the 2021 workshop.

We seek input from potential participants on how to make this workshop successful. Please email the workshop organizers (bb2021-organizers@googlegroups.com) with your ideas on:

  • other activities you would like to see (e.g., birds-of-a-feather meetings?)
  • technology that enhances the interactive aspects of the workshop
  • how to schedule the activities to maximize participation from around the globe.