Monday, April 2, 2012

Computational Thinking

The NYT carried an article on March 31st on teaching computational thinking from an early age and that got me inspired to write this blog post.

I do Scratch with the kids and am planning on introducing Alice next (this year if I can but it depends upon the kids) and the whole experience is just awesome. I would love to see people actually realize the importance of teaching this; in addition it is not something "extra" - it can easily be combined with the curriculum, particularly Language Arts and Social Studies.

Recent articles (other than the one in NYT) on computational thinking that are really useful:

1. Why Kids should be taught Computational Thinking - The Guardian

2. Teaching girls coding: The point I liked best about this article: "In my opinion, Year 8 is too late. We need to start teaching digital literacy and coding as a part of the curriculum in Year 5, when most children's maths is strong enough. The curriculum has fostered a familiarity with computing and computers and the young minds are ready to start learning programming languages. Indeed primary school children are creative, excited and less likely to have developed associations, good or bad, with certain subjects."

3. Young coders

4. How to teach coding

5. And finally, a not-so-new publication but written by a friend of mine in 2009.

6. A more recent article by the same friend.This one has several useful links and a break-down by age which is really helpful. Just discovered that there is Google Computational thinking.

7. Another recent article - why coding should be taught in the mainstream classroom, not an elective, and why it should be taught earlier rather than later.