Table of Contents
What is computational thinking?
Computational thinking lets us solve a complicated issue, identify the problem and come up with possible solutions. We then communicate the keys in a manner that a computer, human or both can comprehend.
Computational thinking as a practice
Complex problems are those that, at first sight, we aren’t sure how to tackle quickly.
Computational thinking involves solving a complex issue by breaking it down into smaller, easier to manage problems ( decomposition). The minor issues could then be considered in isolation, considering how similar cases were solved before ( pattern recognition) and focusing on the most critical aspects without ignoring irrelevant data ( abstraction). Following that, easy steps or guidelines to solve more minor issues could be developed ( algorithms).
Then, these steps or rules are employed to program computers to solve complicated issues in the most efficient method.
Since every transformative practice must be based on the established standards, these standards should include both the process and content requirements (4C’s). I often see unique activities that stimulate learners. However, I also notice conditions that can be real to students by conscious metacognitive activities that promote the heart and mind.
In this context, I’d like to look at the thinking process that can be used across the curriculum to provide the basis for a genuine understanding of the standards. The cognitive process I’m talking about can be described as Computational Thinking (CT). This kind of thinking is not only in high stakes tests but also in achieving success in life after the school year. You may have heard the concept to use computational thought in school. The most effective way to explain the concept of computational thinking is to consider the way computers think…, or at the very least, runs an application. This is by far the most crucial concept that students learn through programming and creating computer programs. It is important to remember that it’s not the programming that is crucial. Rather the process of thinking. At the end of the day. It is possible to utilize a computer; however, not necessarily use computational thinking skills. This is the principal reason to study a computer-related language. After all, the languages themselves will evolve and evolve. Thought processes will not.
What is this set of skills that are found to be found in Computational Thinking? It can be described as the essential steps to resolve an issue and find an answer. When you are reading these steps, consider your course of study. What are the places you would like your students to develop computational thinking abilities?
The four strategies for computational thinking
- Decomposition- This is the ability of students to analyze an issue. Students can break down a problem or complex system into smaller, easier to manage components through careful observation.
- Recognition of patterns- After the problem has been broken down; students should look for commonalities to and within the challenge. What ways can they identify, and what do they mean?
- Abstraction – At this point, students start focusing on essential information and not focusing on irrelevant details. It’s time to concentrate on particular trees and blur the forest. When determining what is necessary, what does the relationship between this have to do with a possible solution?
- Algorithms At this point, students will be able to formulate an easy-to-follow solution to the issue. They might also determine the rules and methods to resolve the issue.
- Each technique is as crucial as the other. They are similar to tables with legs. If one leg is not there, the table is likely to be able to collapse. Therefore, correctly applying the four techniques can be helpful when programming computers.
You can see, these capabilities are essential to the process of thinking critically. They enable us to utilize our abilities as humans to go beyond the computer’s program. Subroutines have been used for a long time as a method of thinking in the classroom, like determining the reasons behind the decline of civilizations and the twists in an epic tale, finding the solution to a math-related story or the use of the dichotomous keys. In the past, we, as teachers, typically provide the steps to determine the answer. What when our students developed the algorithm themselves for at least a portion or all of the time? What would we do to evaluate their thinking in this way? Thinking that will help them gain more understanding. What if our time spent learning code was used to solve the real issue? What if we brought Makers Culture into the classroom and encouraged and evaluated computational thinking while focusing on the natural and authentic knowledge of the norms?
Ten Ideas to Increase Computational Thinking in Your classroom
- Make sure you are embracing the vocabulary in the standard. Practising is the best way to learn.
- Facilitate and evaluate four C’s. Assessment should be made by teachers and peers, as well as self and the mentors.
- Encourage metacognition as well as the “Habits of Mind”. There are times when you think about what we’re thinking.
- Facilitate and evaluate collaboration when it improves and expands the understanding of all those involved. Be aware that partnership provides the basis for critical thinking.
- Accept, insist on being able to facilitate and insist on continuous and thorough inquiry.
- Consider Webb’s DOK and the upper Blooms and ensure that it’s part of a higher proportion of lessons.
- Inform students that algorithms are steps anyone could follow, but everyone does not understand them, and even fewer can create one. Therefore, they have to be the creators of algorithms.
- Encourage students to use computational thinking to improve standards and connect to the real world and other disciplines.
- Assist in aligning standards and assessing student work and thinking.
- Give students the necessary content that is connected to thinking as well as doing and creating. Through the process comes computational thinking!