I ran a workshop on computational thinking at the Vietnam Tech Conference this past March. My goal was to give teachers some new ways to think about classroom tasks and the deliberate use of computers to do what they are good at doing.
The general vibe of my talk was consistent with what I've said here in the past. Some highlights:
- We should be using computers to do the tasks that computers do well. This frees us up to do those tasks for which we are well suited.
- Insisting on basic skills as the entry point for learning is an easy way to put students on the sidelines. Computers are often how we as professionals answer questions that are important or interesting to us. We should help students understand how to use them in the same way.
- Spreadsheets, databases, and visual models like Desmos and Geogebra are great entry points for computational thinking. You don't have to be a coder, a mathematics or science teacher, or a technology expert to build these activities for your students.
The video is here:
If you want to do the first three activities yourself and see other resources from my workshop, visit goo.gl/vsT2G6. There is a fourth activity on the page that is mentioned at around 24 minutes in the video that is linked there too.
As always, I'd love to hear what you have to say.