Computational Thinking? Yes, but how do I teach it?
ISTE). Because computational thinking can - and should be applied to all aspects of life, it is an important skill that our students need to master. But how can we teach it to our students? Are we teaching it already without being fully aware of it? Yes, we are!
I have just stumbled upon a course by Google for Education that provides an excellent explanation as well as lots of resources on how to teach computational thinking.
First of all, to fully understand what computational thinking really means, the course authors break it down into the following four elements:
- Decomposition: Breaking down data, processes, or problems into smaller, manageable parts
- Pattern Recognition: Observing patterns, trends, and regularities in data
- Abstraction: Identifying the general principles that generate these patterns
- Algorithm Design: Developing the step by step instructions for solving this and similar problems
Plenty of excellent and very useful examples for Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Abstraction and Algorithm Design are given for teachers of different subjects to try out and experiment (= play) with in order to fully understand the concept before teaching it to students.
After you are done, proceed to the list of ready-made lesson plans, choose your discipline and you are all set to teach computational thinking in the classroom. And what's more, you'll see that you already ARE teaching computational thinking - with or without computers!
Before you go, watch the video below. Here are some thoughts that deeply resonated with me:
Computational thinking is not an extra topic that needs to be taught at school, and it shouldn't be a burden for teachers either. Quite to the contrary, it should be regarded as an enhancement to our existing curriculum.
All students should learn computational thinking regardless of subject or age group.
By integrating computational thinking skills in all of our subjects, we're preparing our students to contribute new solutions to seemingly impossible problems in a creative way.
Check out Computational thinking course by Google for Education here.