Computational Thinking

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Computational Thinking

  1. 1. Computational Thinking Jon Udell UCEA April 2009
  2. 2. What is computational thinking? A set of principles, practices, and patterns that govern the structure, flow, and processing of information in networks.
  3. 3. Who learns these principles today? Mathematicians computer scientists geeks Who should learn them? Everybody WHY?
  4. 4. Our fate as a society depends on our collective ability to create, organize, navigate, search, interconnect, and reason in (and about) networks of people and information
  5. 5. What are some principles of computational thinking? Indirection Abstraction Namespace management Publish/subscribe syndication Query Composition/decomposition Generalization/specialization Structured data Automation
  6. 6. How would Piaget explain this?
  7. 7. And how would Piaget explain this? The structured Information must be here, right? Actually, no, it isn’t anywhere.
  8. 8. Andy Baio’s analysis of Feed the Animals
  9. 9. Track data on Wikipedia
  10. 10. Amazon Mechanical Turk bulk requester
  11. 11. What principles did Andy apply? Structured data Decomposition Composition Automation Generalization
  12. 12. oreilly.com search: before
  13. 13. oreilly.com search: after
  14. 14. What principle did Allen Noren apply? Namespace management Every book has a unique keyword, or tag Mine was pracintgr for Practical Internet Groupware The tag is used consistently in URLs for: Tables of contents Cover images Summaries Indexes Author bios
  15. 15. What principles did I apply on Allen’s behalf? Abstraction Structured data Automation
  16. 16. Transparency Camp 2009
  17. 17. Principles in use at Transparency Camp Publish/subscribe syndication Namespace management Indirection Query
  18. 18. Public events: the conventional way
  19. 19. Public events: the computational way
  20. 20. Principle: structured data How we describe calendar events: quot;Communications Committee, Tuesday at 5:30, Cheshire Career Center Conference Room, KHSquot; How computers understand calendar events: DTSTART:20080617T173000 SUMMARY:Communications Committee LOCATION:KHS , Cheshire Career Center Conference Room
  21. 21. Anti-principle: Artificial intelligence We infer context easily. Software tries hard, often fails.
  22. 22. Principles: indirection, pub/sub Keene Sentinel: Monday night chess club, 6:30 PM, Best Western Hotel (wrong) Eventful.com: Monday night chess club, 6:30 PM, E.F. Lane Hotel (right) When we are authoritative producers of feeds, and when the newspaper consumes them, the Information we provide will be timely and correct.
  23. 23. “We posted weekly.pdf to the website. Isn’t that good enough?”
  24. 24. Principles: abstraction, generalization Bloggers publish and subscribe to feeds So do Twitterers Abstraction: Publish/subscribe is a key pattern. Generalization: iCalendar files are feeds, can form pub/sub networks.
  25. 25. Calendar curation for Huntington, WV
  26. 26. Metadata for Huntington, WV One of these things Is not like the other.
  27. 27. Project-wide metadata
  28. 28. Project communication / collaboration The room orchestrates feeds In the same way that the project Itself does.
  29. 29. Principles at work in the elmcity project Indirection Abstraction Namespace management Publish/subscribe syndication Query Composition/decomposition Generalization/specialization Structured data Automation
  30. 30. How do we learn and apply these principles? How do we teach them? Let’s discuss.

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