Global Math Department – The How and Why of Computational Thinking

I had a great time presenting to a group of good people last night at the Global Math Department meeting for the evening. Thanks to Michael, Megan, Jonathan, and the rest of the team that helped make it happen.

The recording of my talk is now available, so check it out when you get a chance. You can access that here:

Here’s an executive summary to discuss at the water cooler:

  • Let computers do what they do best, so that we can use our brains to do what they do best.
  • Numbers first, abstraction later. Computers serve to link concepts of specific numbers to the more abstract idea of variables.
  • We often use computation as a gate-keeper to get to the more interesting problem solving and higher level reasoning. Students can learn to use computational models and tools to get to that reasoning directly.
  • With spreadsheets, you (and your students) don’t have to know a programming language to get in the game.

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