Using computer science education methods to enhance teaching across the disciplines<br />Kim Pearson<br />The College of New Jersey<br />Fifth Annual Culturally Responsive Teaching, Learning and Counseling Symposium<br />
Outline<br /><ul><li>The emerging concept of computational thinking
But first, a word about me…</li></li></ul><li>I’m not a computer scientist<br />But I spent my middle school years in a laboratory and demonstration school<br />Learned to program in basic<br />Composed electronic music with oscilloscopes, wave generators, reel-to-reel tape decks– on graph paper<br />Learned to think algorithmically by playing “The Towers of Hanoi”<br />Science writer at Bell Labs <br />Started doing and teaching online journalism with students in 1996<br />In other words, I learned to think computationally<br />
What is computational thinking?<br />“Computational thinking is a fundamental skill for everyone, not just computer scientists. To reading, writing and arithmetic, we should add computational thinking to every child’s analytical ability.”<br />Dr. Jeannette Wing<br />An approach to problem solving that includes (but isn’t limited to):<br />Abstracting and modeling processes and phenomena<br />Creating rules and procedures, ie algorithms<br />Collaboration<br />Structuring ideas and information in ways that both machines and people can process<br />Not just for science and math class<br />
Exhibit A: IJIMS<br />We used the parallels in the processes of creating news stories to teach fundamental computer science principles and skills, including: collaboratively specifying a problem, developing and implementing solutions, error checking, and iteration.<br />
But it wasn’t just about writing<br />Abstracting a problem<br />What is the story?<br />Thinking procedurally<br />Rules for finding credible sources<br />Rules for conducting interviews<br />Abstracting a problem<br />Judgments about best media for each part of a story (text, video, Scratch, image)<br />Collaborative problem solving and project management<br />And real programming<br />
What is Scratch?<br />Created by MIT Media Lab<br />Designed to teach programming to novices<br />Exposes students to real programming concepts: control structures, commands, loops, strings<br />Ability to use, create and modify media makes programming play<br />Supportive online community supports collaboration<br />
Your turn to play<br />Open Scratch on your desktop<br />Getting started in Scratch<br />Now that you have created a sample Scratch program, can you think of how students might use Scratch to create stories, games or animations using topics in:<br />Science<br />Math<br />Social Studies<br />Language Arts<br />
CS Unplugged<br />Teaching computer science without a computer<br />Journalism scavenger hunt<br />Swing dancing (8-count correspondents to bits and bytes, steps are algorithms<br />Let’s play, shall we?<br />
Next steps<br />Pending funding, we will create a playbook with curricula and assessment tools that will allow IJIMS to be replicated in other school districts. We will also standardize our custom-designed content management system, CAFÉ, so that it will be an open-source product. <br />Your thoughts, questions?<br />
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