Bill MacKenty


What is computational thinking in K-12 space?

Posted in Computer Science on 20 - March 2015 at 10:13 AM (7 years ago). 30 views.

Any look at computer science in the K-12 space leads inexorably towards the notion of computational thinking. My elevator speech on computational thinking is "thinking to computer". But there are many other, far better sources we can find below: From Google comes this excellent answer Computational thinking (CT) involves a set of problem-solving skills and techniques that software engineers use to write programs that underlie the computer applications you use such as search, email, and maps. Here are specific techniques. Decomposition: Breaking a task or problem into steps or parts. Pattern Recognition: Make predictions and models to test. Pattern Generalization and Abstraction: Discover the laws, or principles that cause these patterns. Algorithm Design: Develop the instructions to solve similar problems and repeat the process. From the CSTA: “CT is an approach to solving problems in a way that can be implemented with a computer. Students become not merely tool users but tool builders. They use a set of concepts, such as abstraction, recursion, and iteration, to process and analyze data, and to create real and virtual artifacts. CT is a problem-solving methodology that can be automated and transferred and applied across subjects. The power of computational thinking is that it applies to every other type of reasoning. It enables all kinds of things to get done: quantum physics, advanced biology, human–computer systems, development of useful computational tools.” Computational thinking is thus a problem-solving methodology that can interweave computer science with all disciplines, providing a distinctive means of analyzing and developing solutions to problems that can be solved computationally. With its focus on abstraction, automation, and analysis, computational thinking is a core element of the broader discipline of computer science and for that reason it is interwoven through these computer science standards at all levels of K–12 learning Page 9 of the CSTA K-12 computer science standards. From Jeannette Wing, regarding as the originator of computational thinking: Computational thinking is a fundamental skill for everyone, not just for computer scientists. To reading, writing, and arithmetic, we should add computational thinking to every child’s analytical ability. Just as the printing press facilitated the spread of the three Rs, what is appropriately incestuous about this vision is that computing and computers facilitate the spread of computational thinking. Computational thinking involves solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior, by drawing on the concepts fundamental to computer science. Computational thinking includes a range of mental tools that reflect the breadth of the field of computer science.