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# Computational thinking for kids

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# Computational thinking for kids

To keep it simple, Computational Thinking (or CT, for short) is basically Problem Solving. At its core, CT is a process that involves analyzing a problem and finding the best possible solution by:

Breaking it down into separate, distinct parts
Identifying similarities between each part
Recognizing relevant information and opportunities to simplify the problem
Implementing all data gathered from steps 1 to 3 to create a reasonable and efficient solution

This might sound a little more complicated than you’d like it to be, but trust us; computational thinking is actually pretty straightforward! The four steps we just mentioned are actually the 4 Key Elements of CT. Once you know and understand each step, you’ll have a better idea of how computational thinking works and how your child can use it practically in their every-day life.
This presentation is an introduction on the CS and how to roll out to young learners

To keep it simple, Computational Thinking (or CT, for short) is basically Problem Solving. At its core, CT is a process that involves analyzing a problem and finding the best possible solution by:

Breaking it down into separate, distinct parts
Identifying similarities between each part
Recognizing relevant information and opportunities to simplify the problem
Implementing all data gathered from steps 1 to 3 to create a reasonable and efficient solution

This might sound a little more complicated than you’d like it to be, but trust us; computational thinking is actually pretty straightforward! The four steps we just mentioned are actually the 4 Key Elements of CT. Once you know and understand each step, you’ll have a better idea of how computational thinking works and how your child can use it practically in their every-day life.
This presentation is an introduction on the CS and how to roll out to young learners

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### Computational thinking for kids

1. 1. A Digital Age Skill for All [space for presenters name, organization]
2. 2. I am working on computational thinking issues. I want to learn more about computational thinking. I’m not sure about computational thinking. Who is in the audience?
3. 3. Critical Thinking + Computing Power = Making Decisions and Innovate Solutions What is CT?
4. 4. The number of computer science graduates declined 70% since the peak in 2001 There is a need to fill the skills gap to keep up with technology innovation To maintain global economic competitiveness and national security Why has the NSF Prioritized CT?
5. 5. To accomplish the following goals: Prepare young learners to become computational thinkers who understand how to use today’s digital tools to help solve tomorrow’s problems. Help teachers envision the potential of CT across all disciplines and be willing to integrate CT in the classroom. Why has CSTA and ISTE Prioritized CT?
6. 6. The knowledge and skills that students need to know and be able to do by the time they graduate from secondary school. CT for All Students
7. 7. The CT Student
8. 8. CT for All Teachers All teachers are responsible for teaching skills, practice, and assessment of CT.
9. 9. CT for All Teachers Most teachers already incorporate CT basics, but may not know it.
10. 10. CT for All Teachers CT has a shared vocabulary that can be highlighted in lessons from every discipline.
11. 11. CT for All Teachers CT is made up of foundational building blocks of concepts, skills, and dispositions that get more sophisticated as students get older.
12. 12. CT for All Teachers CT doesn’t necessarily require computers.
13. 13. CT Operational Definition
14. 14. CT is a problem-solving process that includes (but is not limited to) the following characteristics: Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer and other tools to help solve them Logically organizing and analyzing data Representing data through abstractions such as models and simulations CT Operational Definition
15. 15. Automating solutions through algorithmic thinking Identifying, analyzing, and implementing possible solutions with the goal of achieving the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources Generalizing and transferring this problem-solving process to a wide variety of problems CT Operational Definition CT characteristics (cont.):
16. 16. Dispositions or attitudes that are essential dimensions of CT: Confidence in dealing with complexity Persistence in working with difficult problems Tolerance for ambiguity CT Operational Definition
17. 17. Dispositions or attitudes that are essential dimensions of CT (cont.): The ability to deal with open-ended problems The ability to communicate and work with others to achieve a common goal or solution CT Operational Definition
18. 18. Elementary school Data collection Algorithms and procedures CT in the Classroom
19. 19. Middle school Problem decomposition CT in the Classroom
20. 20. High school Abstraction CT in the Classroom
21. 21. CT Learning Experiences
22. 22. CT Learning Experiences
23. 23. CT Learning Experiences
24. 24. CT Learning Experiences
25. 25. CT Learning Experiences
26. 26. CT Learning Experiences
27. 27. CT Learning Experiences
28. 28. Develop an understanding of CT Highlight CT vocabulary, skills, and dispositions in your lessons Extend current activities and lessons with CT Engage and share with others who are new to CT Teachers Take Action!
29. 29. Use the CT Leadership Toolkit Make a CT presentation to your colleagues or at a conference Connect CT to school improvement efforts Support teachers who want to learn more about CT School Leaders Take Action!
30. 30. Provide feedback on the session, the effectiveness of resources, and the kinds of the resources you’d like to see developed Take the Understanding Computational Thinking survey: Online: www.iste.org/CT-Survey By Paper Take Action Now!
32. 32. For more information, contact: computational-thinking@iste.org Or http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/CompThinking.html www.iste.org/computational-thinking Thank you!

### Notes de l'éditeur

The CT resources developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) were made possible with generous support from the National Science Foundation.
• [To Presenter: We feel it is important to know your audience. A similar question is included in the post-session survey]
• There are many definitions of computational thinking, but simply put: CT combines critical thinking skills with the power of computing to make decisions or find solutions.

Skills needed to solve an equation, plan a project, or develop an outline for a writing assignment share similar qualities. They all include important problem solving competencies that students need throughout their lifetime. CT can magnify problem-solving skills needed to address authentic, real-world issues.
• [3-4 minute video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/VFcUgSYyRPg]
• The National Science Foundation has funded numerous CT projects, including the work of CSTA and ISTE to produce CT resources for K-12 educators.
• CSTA and ISTE believe that CT can provide the skills that students will need for their future and provides a rigorous and powerful problem solving model.
• Bringing CT into formal K-12 education will provide our students with vital problem solving skills. CT is for students of all ages and can be learned and practiced in all disciplines.
• [To presenter: Click on the embedded link to start a 2 minute animation that describes the skills and dispositions that students gain when the practice computational thinking.]
• CT for all teachers:

CT is cross-curricular, so all teachers are responsible for introducing, reinforcing, and assessing CT skills

• CT for all teachers:

Most teachers already incorporate CT basics, but may not know it.

• CT for all teachers:

* CT has a shared vocabulary that can be highlighted in lessons from every discipline
• CT for all teachers:

* CT is made up of foundational building blocks of concepts, skills, and dispositions that get more sophisticated as students get older
* CT is cross-curricular, so all teachers are responsible for introducing, reinforcing, and assessing CT skills
CT has a shared vocabulary that can be highlighted in lessons from every discipline
Most teachers are already incorporate CT basics, but may not know it.
CT doesn’t necessarily require computers.
• CT for all teachers:

* CT doesn’t necessarily require computers.
• [To presenter: Refer participants to the CT Operational Definition handout. As a presenter, you can decide if you want to walk through the operational definition via the slide deck or just use the handout. If you want to introduce the definition by slide use the next 4 slides (#15-18) and delete this slide.]

The operational definition was developed by consensus of educators and CT advocates as a framework for CT in K-12 education. The operational definition was the bases for building resources for elementary and secondary school educators beginning to integrate CT into the classroom. The definition is made up of skills and dispositions or attitudes.
• [To presenter: Refer to the CT Operational Definition handout. As a presenter, you can decide if you want to walk through the operational definition via the slide deck, with the handout as reference, delete slide #14.]

The operational definition was developed by consensus of educators and CT advocates as a framework for CT in K-12 education. The operational definition was the bases for building resources for elementary and secondary school educators beginning to integrate CT into the classroom. The definition is made up of skills and dispositions or attitudes.
• [To presenter: Refer to CT Vocabulary and Progression Chart handout]

CT Building Blocks start with core concepts. At this time, there are 9 core concepts including:
Data Collection, Data Analysis, Data Representation, Problem Decomposition, Abstraction, Algorithms & Procedures, Automation, Simulation, and Parallelization.

These concepts are defined on the chart and then illustrated by grade band.
• [To Presenter: Each of the CT in the Classroom slides refers to one of the examples on the CT Progression Chart. Help participants locate the example on the chart.]

CT can be embedded or integrated into lessons, but is some case teachers are already doing CT.

Let’s look at the elementary school examples:

Collecting data in a toy car race or creating a set of directions. To integrate CT into K-12 education, a first big step, especially in classrooms with younger children, is the appropriate use of vocabulary. Highlighting the words “data collection” or “algorithms” will make the children familiar with these terms.
• In this example, work teams who plan the publication of a newsletter could be an activity in any subject area from English Language Arts class to a drama class.

• Again, here is an example from a high school history class. Connecting the vocabulary to an activity is the first step in integrating CT. The next step is integrating CT activities. We’ll look at that next.
• [To Presenter: Reference the Computational Thinking Teacher Resources, a booklet that can be downloaded from the web site for free (www.iste.org/computational-thinking). The next several slides are for an elementary school reference. There are slides that reference a high school example.]

This booklet is not a curriculum, but further “definitions-by-example,” including CT Learning Experiences. The booklet includes: 9 CT Learning Experiences and two scenarios to help educators understand what CT is.

CT Learning Experiences (CTLEs) are examples of learning experiences for students of all ages and across content areas. CTLEs can help teachers and students gain a better understanding of the CT building blocks.

The components of each CTLE can help you, as an educator, call out the vocabulary, correlate activities to CT, and extend a tried and true lesson by integrating CT.

This example is one from elementary school.
• Each CTLE includes a CT Guide on the Side right up front that lists:

CT skills
CT dispositions
CT vocabulary
• CT Skills are in black. The CT skills that are listed in black in the Guide on the Side is a SKILL.

In the “Growing Plants” CTLE formulating problems is one of the CT skills contained in this lesson.
• The Guide on the Side also includes the dispositions in blue.

Persistence in working with difficult problems is one of the dispositions featured in this CTLE.
• Within the learning activity, activities are correlated to the CT disposition.

In this example, the [He sticks with his gardening challenge] is an example of the disposition of Persistence Working with Difficult Problems.
• In this example, [Summarize the Story] is correlated to abstraction, a CT skill, and a description of why/how it is correlated is included in the Guide on the Side.
• In the CTLE’s, vocabulary highlights are in green.

The activity [Summarize the story] is correlated to Abstraction, followed by the definition—reducing complexity to define main idea.
• [To presenter: This is an activity for presentation participants. Hand 5th Grade Language Arts learning experience worksheet.]

Use the CT Vocabulary Chart to identify where you can find CT skills, vocabulary, and dispostions in the Persuade Me, Please Learning Experience.

[Discuss what people found. IF you have printed out the CT Teacher Resources booklet, check answers with the booklet. IF you have not printed out the booklet, verbally use go through the correlations.]
• Develop an understanding to CT so that you can recognize CT skills and dispositions you are already including in your teaching
Highlight and use CT vocabulary

• CT Teacher Resources include:
•   An operational definition of CT for K-12 Education •   A CT vocabulary and progression chart •   Nine CT Learning Experiences •   CT classroom scenarios