Are you interested in learning more about Computational Thinking (CT)? Are you looking to implement CT in your classroom? Here are some resources and links that you will find useful:
What is Computational Thinking?
Let’s first get rid of the idea that computational thinking is programming . “It is not even thinking like a computer, as computers do not, and cannot, think.” (Source: BBC).
Computational thinking is using problem solving strategies that involve breaking down complex problems into more familiar ones (problem decomposition), using a sequence of steps to solve the problem (algorithms), reducing the complexities of a problem and focusing on the essential details to solve it (abstraction), and using digital tools and technology to automate the solutions (automation). These are the underpinning of skills that computer scientists use in their work.
CSTA and ISTE identifies 9 core computational thinking ideas for K-12 classrooms include: data collection, data analysis, data representation, problem decomposition, abstraction, algorithms & procedures, automation, parallelization, and simulation.
What Computational Thinking is Not?
- Computational thinking is not just using computers. Computational thinking can easily be confounded as simply “using computers”. While computers can be used to help solve problems and support students in becoming computational thinkers, oversimplifying it to using computers/technology in the classroom is imprecise. The role of computers in computational thinking is about executing processes and solutions to problems that can been represented by an information processing agent (i.e, a computer).
- Computational thinking is not mathematics. Another common misconception is that computational thinking is equivalent to mathematics. Mathematics in school is about solving very traditional math problems whereas computational thinking is about using problem solving strategies (see above) to generate solutions that can be automated.
Computational Thinking in K-12: Resources
Here are some resources for teachers to learn more about what computational thinking is and how to embed CT concepts and capabilities in a K-12 classroom.
- BBC has a great resource that provides an introduction to essential computational thinking ideas.
- CS4FN has classroom resources and activities to support teaching computational thinking.
- Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) have developed computational thinking teacher resource.
- Computing at School in the UK has developed a guide for teachersto embed computational thinking
- Google has a free online course called Computational Thinking for Educators.