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  1. Distributed computing, computer networking, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are all around us, yet only computer science and engineering majors learn the technologies that enable our modern lives. This paper introduces PhoneIoT, a mobile app that makes it possible to teach some of the basic concepts of distributed computation and networked sensing to novices. PhoneIoT turns mobile phones and tablets into IoT devices and makes it possible to create highly engaging projects through NetsBlox, an open-source block-based programming environment focused on teaching distributed computing at the high school level. PhoneIoT lets NetsBlox programs—running in the browser on the student’s computer—access available sensors. Since phones have touchscreens, PhoneIoT also allows building a Graphical User Interface (GUI) remotely from NetsBlox, which can be set to trigger custom code written by the student via NetsBlox’s message system. This approach enables students to create quite advanced distributed projects, such as turning their phone into a game controller or tracking their exercise on top of an interactive Google Maps background with just a few blocks of code.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are common in students’ everyday lives, but connecting these devices to a programming environment for educational use is not always straightforward. This paper presents a framework, IoTScape, for connecting IoT devices to an online block-based programming environment. This system automatically provides both a novice-friendly interface and more advanced tools integrating cybersecurity concepts. By allowing new device types to easily be added to the system, a more diverse set of curricula is possible, ideally attracting more students who may not find the existing curricula engaging. Examples are provided of IoT devices used with this system, both physical and virtual, connected to NetsBlox through this platform, along with potential pedagogical uses of these devices.