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Computational Thinking in the Classroom
“The idea behind computational thinking (CT) is problem solving processes that include logically ordering and analyzing data, creating solutions using a series of ordered steps (an algorithm), and dispositions, such as the ability to confidently deal with complexity and open-ended problems.” –Melissa Pelletier
Educators are looking for ways to bring computational thinking into the classroom. At first mention of computational thinking your thoughts may go to the importance of it when it comes to understanding how computers work. If you think about it, though, this way of thinking can also be applied across most subjects- math, humanities, sciences, etc. It allows students the opportunity to see connections between the subjects they are learning. Students are also able to see how the skills they are practicing in school can be applied to the real world.
Computational thinking is made up of foundational building blocks of concepts, skills, and dispositions that grow more complex as students get older. This means that teachers can really introduce the concept at any time/grade level. It has a shared vocabulary that can easily be incorporated into lessons across almost every subject. Computational thinking allows educators to unlock creative problem solving, and is just as relevant in language arts and math classes as it is in computer science.
“The wide-ranging benefits of teaching students computational thinking include instilling confidence in dealing with complexity in the real world. Whether at work, or at home, thinking through issues or problems that are not straightforward, or cut and dry is helpful, as well as having persistence in working through challenges. Revolving around all of this, is an overall tolerance for ambiguity.” –Melissa Pelletier
To read, Pelletier’s article in full, click here.