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Computational Thinking:
An Important Skill for All
Students
Joe Kmoch
Washington HS of IT
Milwaukee Public Schools
joe@jkm...
#nafnext
#NAFNext
Session Description
• Given the importance of computing and computer
science in most career paths, compu...
#nafnext
Three Statements about
Computational Thinking
• Based on 9 computer science practices and their
application to mo...
#nafnext
Critical Thinking + Computing Power
= Making Decisions or Innovating Solutions
(Think “Create, Produce, Manipulat...
#nafnext
The core principles of Computer Science are the
basis for Computational Thinking.
CT is the use of
CS principles ...
#nafnext
A Digital Age Skill for
Everyone
A Digital Age Skill for
Everyone
Why CT? Why Now?
#nafnext
The knowledge and
skills that students
need to know and
be able to do by the
time they graduate
from secondary
sc...
#nafnext
The CT Student
#nafnext
CT for All Teachers
All teachers can and should be responsible for
teaching skills, practice, and assessment of C...
#nafnext
CT for All Teachers
Most teachers already incorporate CT basics, but
may not know it.
#nafnext
CT for All Teachers
CT has a shared vocabulary that can be highlighted
in lessons from every discipline.
#nafnext
CT for All Teachers
CT is made up of foundational building blocks of
concepts, skills, and dispositions that get ...
#nafnext
CT for All Teachers
CT doesn’t necessarily require computers.
#nafnext
CT Operational Definition (handout)
#nafnext
Computational Thinking is
The marriage of
– the big ideas in computer science (such as
abstraction, algorithms, m...
#nafnext
CT Building Blocks (handout)
#nafnext
High school
Abstraction
CT in the Classroom
#nafnext
• Technique of generalizing from specific instances
(dealing with both process and data)
• Capturing essential co...
#nafnext
Cooking a Meal Abstraction
Cooking a meal
• At the highest level we might have the list of courses
that make up t...
#nafnext
Cooking a Meal Abstraction
• At the next level, we might have the details of the
individual parts
– The recipes, ...
#nafnext
Example of data abstraction
This Chicago transit
map is a data
abstraction; contains
essential info like
stations...
#nafnext
Process Abstractions of the mind
• Techniques
• For example: Divide
and Conquer
• Abstraction of how to
solve a p...
#nafnext
CT Learning Experiences
#nafnext
CT Learning Experiences
#nafnext
CT Learning Experiences
#nafnext
CT Learning Experiences
#nafnext
CT Learning Experiences
#nafnext
CT Learning Experiences
#nafnext
CT Learning Experiences
#nafnext
Traffic Jam (activity)
#nafnext
Another activity
• Please get into groups of 4-8
• Review the Computational Thinking within Disciplines
Chart
• W...
#nafnext
Comparing CT Core Dispositions and CCSS
Standards for Mathematical Practice
CCSS Standards for Math Practice Comp...
#nafnext
Comparing CT Core Concepts and CCSS
Standards for Mathematical Practice
CCSS Standards for Math Practice Computat...
#nafnext
CCSS: Standards for
Mathematical Content
High School: Modeling
Modeling Standards
Modeling is best interpreted no...
#nafnext
CT Statement #1
CT is a key interdisciplinary component in preparing
students to be successful in a globally comp...
#nafnext
CT Statement #2
CT is a critical enabling skill that will raise the level of
achievement for all students, especi...
#nafnext
CT Statement #3
CT is already a learning strategy in many classrooms
and lessons today. However, we need to more ...
#nafnext
NSF CE21 proposals require CT
prominently
CSTA K-12 CS Standards, 3rd ed (CT is a
major focus of these new standa...
#nafnext
Consuming content and parroting procedures is
19th and 20th Century
21st Century Education is about process, abou...
#nafnext
Contextual
Multidisciplinary
Project-based and inquiry based
Looking deeply at a problem
Using abstraction + algo...
#nafnext
CT isn’t necessarily useful for all problems
...but for many of our largest problems
involving sciences, environm...
#nafnext
Technology Review (May/June 2013)
10 Emerging Technologies – among them:
Deep Learning (AI)
Prenatal DNA Sequenci...
#nafnext
CT Teacher Resources and CT Leadership Toolkit
For free download at www.iste.org/computational-thinking
Coming So...
#nafnext
For more information, contact:
computational-thinking@iste.org
Or
http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/CompThinking...
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Computational Thinking: Why It is Important for All Students

Given the importance of computing and computer science in most career paths, computational thinking must be a part of every curriculum. This session explores
how computational thinking is related to computer science and information technology and how it might affect K-12 education. Participants will look at curricula examples and learn about new resources produced by a joint ISTE/
CSTA NSF group.
Presenter: Joe Kmoch, Milwaukee Public Schools

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Computational Thinking: Why It is Important for All Students

  1. 1. Computational Thinking: An Important Skill for All Students Joe Kmoch Washington HS of IT Milwaukee Public Schools joe@jkmoch.com http://computationalthinking.pbworks.com
  2. 2. #nafnext #NAFNext Session Description • Given the importance of computing and computer science in most career paths, computational thinking must be a part of every curriculum. This session explores how computational thinking is related to computer science and information technology and how it might affect K-12 education. Participants will look at curricula examples and learn about new resources produced by a joint ISTE/CSTA NSF group.
  3. 3. #nafnext Three Statements about Computational Thinking • Based on 9 computer science practices and their application to most subject domains – Data Collection, Data Analysis, Data Representation, Problem Decomposition, Abstraction, Algorithms, Automation, Simulation, Parallelization • Related to Common Core in Mathematics • Probably our best shot to get Computer Science experiences in K-12 3
  4. 4. #nafnext Critical Thinking + Computing Power = Making Decisions or Innovating Solutions (Think “Create, Produce, Manipulate”) What is CT?
  5. 5. #nafnext The core principles of Computer Science are the basis for Computational Thinking. CT is the use of CS principles in problem domains What is CT?
  6. 6. #nafnext A Digital Age Skill for Everyone A Digital Age Skill for Everyone Why CT? Why Now?
  7. 7. #nafnext 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
  8. 8. #nafnext The CT Student
  9. 9. #nafnext CT for All Teachers All teachers can and should be responsible for teaching skills, practice, and assessment of CT. This is not a “computer thing”.
  10. 10. #nafnext CT for All Teachers Most teachers already incorporate CT basics, but may not know it.
  11. 11. #nafnext CT for All Teachers CT has a shared vocabulary that can be highlighted in lessons from every discipline.
  12. 12. #nafnext 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.
  13. 13. #nafnext CT for All Teachers CT doesn’t necessarily require computers.
  14. 14. #nafnext CT Operational Definition (handout)
  15. 15. #nafnext Computational Thinking is The marriage of – the big ideas in computer science (such as abstraction, algorithms, modeling, problem decomposition) – with problems and big ideas in most other subject matter domains CT Operational Definition
  16. 16. #nafnext CT Building Blocks (handout)
  17. 17. #nafnext High school Abstraction CT in the Classroom
  18. 18. #nafnext • Technique of generalizing from specific instances (dealing with both process and data) • Capturing essential common characteristics while discarding unessential characteristics • Operating simultaneously at multiple layers and define relationships between layers What is abstraction?
  19. 19. #nafnext Cooking a Meal Abstraction Cooking a meal • At the highest level we might have the list of courses that make up the meal – Appetizer(s) – Soup/salad – Entree – Dessert • And probably an order in which to work on them (project timeline) 19
  20. 20. #nafnext Cooking a Meal Abstraction • At the next level, we might have the details of the individual parts – The recipes, for example • At the next level, we might have the details of how to do certain cooking actions – doing a reduction or – pureeing, or – rolling dough (All process abstractions) 20
  21. 21. #nafnext Example of data abstraction This Chicago transit map is a data abstraction; contains essential info like stations and transfer points, avoids details like exact street locations of stations or distances 21
  22. 22. #nafnext Process Abstractions of the mind • Techniques • For example: Divide and Conquer • Abstraction of how to solve a problem, not actually a solution to any particular problem. • Take a problem and divide it into several piece • Solve or complete each piece • Re-combine the pieces to solve original problem 22
  23. 23. #nafnext CT Learning Experiences
  24. 24. #nafnext CT Learning Experiences
  25. 25. #nafnext CT Learning Experiences
  26. 26. #nafnext CT Learning Experiences
  27. 27. #nafnext CT Learning Experiences
  28. 28. #nafnext CT Learning Experiences
  29. 29. #nafnext CT Learning Experiences
  30. 30. #nafnext Traffic Jam (activity)
  31. 31. #nafnext Another activity • Please get into groups of 4-8 • Review the Computational Thinking within Disciplines Chart • Within your group brainstorm some lessons in your discipline where you already include one or more of the CT concepts or dispositions; together consider how you could enhance these lessons to include one or more additional CT concepts or dispositions. • 20 minutes; write ideas on a large sheet • Then we’ll share at least one idea from each group
  32. 32. #nafnext Comparing CT Core Dispositions and CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice CCSS Standards for Math Practice Computational Thinking core dispositions 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them Confidence with complexity Persistence in working through problems 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively Ability to deal with open ended problems 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others Ability to communicate and collaborate to achieve a common goal 4. Model with mathematics Tolerance for ambiguity 5. Use appropriate tools strategically Ability to communicate and collaborate to achieve a common goal 6. Attend to precision Persistence in working through problems 7. Look for and make use of structure Ability to deal with open-ended problems 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning Ability to deal with open-ended problems <http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards/mathematics/introduction/standards- for-mathematical-practice/>
  33. 33. #nafnext Comparing CT Core Concepts and CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice CCSS Standards for Math Practice Computational Thinking core concepts 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them Data collection, analysis, representation Problem Decomposition/Analysis 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively Abstraction 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others Algorithms and Procedures 4. Model with mathematics Modeling & Simulation 5. Use appropriate tools strategically Automation 6. Attend to precision Data collection, analysis, representation 7. Look for and make use of structure Parallelization Algorithms & Procedures 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning Algorithms & Procedures <http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards/mathematics/introduction/standards- for-mathematical-practice/>
  34. 34. #nafnext CCSS: Standards for Mathematical Content High School: Modeling Modeling Standards Modeling is best interpreted not as a collection of isolated topics but rather in relation to other standards. Making mathematical models is a Standard for Mathematical Practice, and specific modeling standards appear throughout the high school standards indicated by a star symbol (★). <http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards/mathematics/high-school- modeling/introduction/>
  35. 35. #nafnext CT Statement #1 CT is a key interdisciplinary component in preparing students to be successful in a globally competitive workforce. • If students are going to be successful in postsecondary education and compete for and win jobs, they must have the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that CT provides (Wagner). From ISTE CT Website, Computational Leadership Toolkit (8/22/11), p 42 Tony Wagner, Innovation Education Fellow, Technology and Entrepreneurship Center, Harvard U
  36. 36. #nafnext CT Statement #2 CT is a critical enabling skill that will raise the level of achievement for all students, especially those who are traditionally marginalized. • Successful students must be able to connect and apply academic content to real-world situations, and CT provides a framework for that learning connection (Marzano). From ISTE CT Website, Computational Leadership Toolkit (8/22/11), p 42 Robert J Marzano, Marzano Research Laboratory
  37. 37. #nafnext CT Statement #3 CT is already a learning strategy in many classrooms and lessons today. However, we need to more closely examine the uses of CT and identify and expand student and teacher awareness about its impact and power. • This means we probably do not have to expend large sums of money. We just need to recognize and align CT strategies to current practices. From ISTE CT Website, Computational Leadership Toolkit (8/22/11), p 42
  38. 38. #nafnext NSF CE21 proposals require CT prominently CSTA K-12 CS Standards, 3rd ed (CT is a major focus of these new standards) New AP Computer Science Principles and Exploring CS Curricula – CT plays a major role CT is gaining traction!
  39. 39. #nafnext Consuming content and parroting procedures is 19th and 20th Century 21st Century Education is about process, about learning tools and skills to remake content, create new learning and solve problems (think creators, producers) Not about just formal education in school but also about informal education – 24 hour learning – the network CT promotes 21st Century Learning Re-Imagining Learning in the 21st Century: MacArthur Foundation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6_U6jOKsG4&feature=relmfu Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner: MacArthur Foundation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0xa98cy-Rw&feature=relmfu
  40. 40. #nafnext Contextual Multidisciplinary Project-based and inquiry based Looking deeply at a problem Using abstraction + algorithms + analysis + bringing to bear any number of tools + possibly automation/computing CT Features
  41. 41. #nafnext CT isn’t necessarily useful for all problems ...but for many of our largest problems involving sciences, environment, social studies for example where large datasets abound and modeling and simulation techniques are useful CT for our larger problems
  42. 42. #nafnext Technology Review (May/June 2013) 10 Emerging Technologies – among them: Deep Learning (AI) Prenatal DNA Sequencing Baxter: Blue Collar Robot Smart Watches Ultra-Efficient Solar Power (Nanotechnology) Big Data from Cheap Phones Supergrids CT in Emerging Technologies
  43. 43. #nafnext CT Teacher Resources and CT Leadership Toolkit For free download at www.iste.org/computational-thinking Coming Soon! CT database for links to research and other teacher resources. CT Resources
  44. 44. #nafnext For more information, contact: computational-thinking@iste.org Or http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/CompThinking.html www.iste.org/computational-thinking Joe’s site: http://computationalthinking.pbworks.com Thank you!

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