Computational Thinking: A Problem-Solving Tool for Every Classroom Pat Phillips We do not acquire technical skills simply from the use of technology any more than engineering skills evolve from using automobiles or aeronautical engineering skills from flying. Robert Tinker, Alvaro Galvis, and Andrew Zucker The Concord Consortium Our Plans What is computational thinking? Why is it important to think about? How might it different from what we do now? How can it enhance learning for students? What can happen in your classroom to implement computational thinking strategies? Opportunities to share throughout Something to consider The type of thinking required by citizens for successful participation in a society is related to the raw products available and the production processes being used to solve problems. Industrial Activity Knowing about physical things and thinking about making/combining materials into new things. Terms you are likely familiar with: • • • • Assembly-line processes Automation JIT—Just In Time processing CAD/CAM Information Technology Knowing how to apply technology to locate and use information to solve problems Terms we have become familiar with: • Telecommunications • Networks • WYSIWYG Beyond Information Technology Knowing about data and ideas and using/combining these resources to solve problems. Move students beyond using tools and information to creating tools and information The raw materials require thought processes about manipulating data, using abstractions, computational thinking. What is Computational Thinking? Asking: What is the power and limit of human and computer intelligence? Asking: How difficult is the problem? Asking: How can it be solved? Asking: How can technology be applied to the problem? Asking: What computational strategies might be employed? What it’s not… It’s not just more technical details for using software It’s not thinking like a computer It’s not programming (necessarily) It doesn’t always require a computer It’s not yet one more thing to add to your curriculum How is it different from other learning strategies? Not just procedural Not just constructionist Not just integrated Why is it important? It moves students beyond technology literacy It creates problem solvers instead of software technicians It emphasizes creating knowledge rather than using information It presents endless possibilities for creatively solving problems It enhances the problem-solving techniques you already teach What is happening in the World? “Computational” has become part of Math and statistics Every Science Biology Physics Nanotechnology Chemistry Economics Arts and recreation Engineering and design What has been accomplished? Computational Physics Biology Chemistry Mathematics Computer Science Law Economics Aeronautics Education It fits with the ISTE NETS Teachers apply technology to develop students’ higher order skills and creativity. (III) Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works. (4) Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world. (6) Computational Thinking Concepts Algorithm—the kingpin term Data—variables, data bases, Queue Abstraction—conceptualizing, modularizing Query—search, conditionals, Boolean Sensing & Feedback—robotics Iterations—loops, recursion Systems So what can happen in my classroom? Computer science/technology Math Science Social studies Language arts Fine arts Other subjects? Other situations? Show me some real examples Analyzing data Simulations Modeling Data manipulation Digital manipulatives & illustrators Flight Simulator X An opportunity for computational thinking with a simulation Concepts useful for teaching Add to your own ICT knowledge. Help students to learn uses of ICT to represent and help solve problems within the various disciplines. Help students gain some underlying and/or introductory knowledge of computer science. Use terms associated with computing in everyday activities. Ask lots of ICT questions; encourage students to ask lots of questions and plan strategies to solve them. Resources Computational Thinking Jeanette Wing, CMU Beginner Developer Learning Center Bit & Bytes and Kids Corner, Microsoft LifeLong Kindergarten Mitch Resnick, MIT Great Principles of Computing Peter Denning, Naval Postgraduate School Thank you Jeannette Wing Carnegie Mellon Mitch Resnick MIT Peter Denning Naval Postgraduate School © 2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This presentation is for informational purposes only. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, in this summary.