Slow Computing

Slow Computing

"Slow Computing is a paradigm that takes a extensive perspective on the role of HCI throughout the eternal past and infinite future of computing, with respect to humanity's enduring quest to understand its place in the Universe."

"It offers new perspectives on the history of computing, and HCI throughout the distant past, long present and possible futures. It interprets humanities evolution of technology as the pursuit of new understanding and capabilities for society through the exploration of our place in it and the understanding of nature and the world around us. Understanding successful examples of social, sustainable, embodied, pervasive and ubiquitous slow computing provides insights for the advancement of current and future ubiquitous HCI and simple and transparent strategies to foster broader engagement in computational thinking and STEM learning."

Slow computing is an innovative paradigm that embraces ancient, physical, artistic and natural forms of interactive computing (e.g. Stongehenge, pyramids, wave organs, etc.) Studying these can offer new perspectives on the  history of computing and the advancement of HCI beyond the desk-top.  Understanding successful examples of social, sustainable, embodied,  pervasive and ubiquitous slow computing might provide insight for the  advancement of transparent strategies to foster broader  engagement in computational thinking and STEM learning.



Stonehenge constructed a system that permitted people to gather and
compute valuable information (solstice, seasons, cultural practices, etc).


Slow computing gifts, build on Montessori's manipulatives, Froebel's Gifts, for kindergarten and Resnick's Digital Gifts, for life-long kindergarten as simple and transparent learning manipulatives and contructionist activities that foster computational thinking and personal ownership of inquiry based educational experiences. A subset of these gifts, sundials, Foucault's Pendulum, Towers of Hanoi, and Rube Goldberg Machines are presented here, highlighting their potential to contribute to the advancement of childrens' computational thinking skills and experiences.

figure 1: HCI circa 2500BC: Stonehenge integrates tangible,
embodied, sustainable, social, and astronomical computing.


Related Links

Burleson, W. and Jensen, C. J. (2010) Slow computing gifts. Tangible and Embedded Interaction 2010, Workshop, Proceedings of the Conference on Tangible Embedded Interaction 2010, Cambridge, MA, January 2010.

Computational Thinking Editorial, Jeannette M. Wing

Computational Thinking Presentation, Jeannette M. Wing