Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine is commonly considered to be the world’s first computer. As such it is an important part of any Computing teaching. Though much literature exists on Babbage, the construction of the engine and the algorithm it computes, little has been written about the actual operation of the machine. Constructionism is well known in the field of teaching and learning. This paper will attempt to identify the relative merits of constructionism in creating a model of the Difference Engine for educational purposes, describe the model and process and discuss this approach with regards to its relationship to Empirical Modelling
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