Computational Fluency as Argumentation Support at the Community Level in Scratch

In this paper I explore findings from an ethnography of the online Scratch community. Through the observations of the Scratch forums, I propose that aspects of computational thinking, which has been studied previously in Scratch, are used by Scratchers (i.e., people who participate on Scratch) as a way to strengthen arguments for topics about which Scratchers feel passionately. The analysis takes a social argumentation approach, which emphasizes context. The focus on context is important for a community like Scratch where the participants of the community feel strong connection and ownership over the activities and structure of community. This paper demonstrates at a community level how aspects of computational thinking are used to strengthen arguments, and what this does for Scratchers who use it.

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