# Why computational thinking matters – Part I

My presentation at 21CLHK yesterday was an attempt to summarize much of the exploration I’ve done over the past year in my classroom into the connection between learning mathematical concepts and programming. I see a lot of potential there, but the details about how to integrate it effectively and naturally still need to be fleshed out.

After the presentation, I felt there needed to be some way to keep the content active other than just posting the slides. I’ve decided to take some of the main pieces of the presentation and package them as videos describing my thinking. I’m seeing this as an iterative process – in all likelihood, these videos will change as I refine my understanding of what I understand about the situation. Here is the start of what will hopefully be a developing collection:

[wpvideo HOucYa4m]

[wpvideo L3jr2hor]

[wpvideo PBc7xzdW]

I want to express my appreciation to Dan Meyer for his time chatting with during the conference about my ideas on making computation a part of the classroom experience. He pushed back against some my assertions and was honest about which arguments made sense and which needed more definition. I think this is a big deal, but the message on the power of computational thinking has to be spot on so it isn’t misunderstood or misused.

With the help of the edu-blogging community, I think we can nail this thing down together. Let’s talk.

I have finally got logo and scratch on my school computers. I have no idea how to use scratch, so those little weasels who claim to be artistic had better get themselves together and teach me!

Both are great resources – I hope they go well!

Terrific presentation, Evan. I attended the Computer Based Math summit a couple of years ago in London, and one point an audience member brought up really stuck with me.

“Math is not done by a computer or on paper. Math is done by our brain.”

I watched the panel you were on before putting together this presentation – lots of great stuff for inspiration. The hope should be whether the math we ask students to do requires that the brain actually be active. I fear it often is not.