Introduction to Computational Thinking Professional Development

Curriki now offers a self-paced Professional Development (PD) course for K-12 teachers interested in learning how to infuse Computational Thinking (CT) into their classes.

Certificate $50 Green Square 170x109Problem Solving through Computational Thinking for Educators, provides teachers with an understanding of what CT is, why it is important, and ways you can incorporate CT skills into your classrooms. Comprised of five distinct “bite-sized” learning modules that introduce the concepts behind CT will spark new ideas, expand teachers’ skill sets, and provide concrete ways to help their students excel at critical thinking and problem solving.

Each  module includes videos, self-evaluation, ready-for-the-classroom activities. The resources are aligned to Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) K-12 Computer Science Standards 5.2 Level 2: Computer Science and Community.              Sponsored by AT&T                                                                                            

 

Access the Course: Problem Solving through Computational Thinking for Educators

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CT ComponentsWhat is Computational Thinking?

Computational thinking is learning to think in ways which allow us to solve problems more effectively and when appropriate to use computers to help us do so. Computational thinking gives students the tools to tackle problems by breaking them down into solvable chunks, identifying patterns, abstracting solutions, and devising algorithms to solve them. These skills enable students to think at multiple levels of abstraction so they can confidently solve complex problems and design systems. In fact, problem solving through Computational Thinking is such a critically important skill it is directly or indirectly addressed by several sets of educational standards including:

Whether a student’s career path involves biology, communications, engineering, or sales doesn’t matter—they all often involve solving big problems, dealing with big data sets and creating solutions.


Benefits of Computational Thinking

We need to teach principles and theory if students are to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of how technology actually works, and how it can be used to solve problems. Computational thinking means solving problems and designing systems in a way that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science.

Computational thinking is learning to think in ways which allow us to solve problems more effectively and when appropriate to use computers to help us do so.

Thinking like a computer scientist means more than being able to program a computer. These skills enable students to think at multiple levels of abstraction so they can confidently solve complex problems and design systems.

Computational Thinking is important for today’s students because it:

  • Provides a framework to develop critically thinking problem solvers across different fields
  • Incorporates both creativity and efficiency into problem solving
  • Allows students to interact with content-specific models and simulations (e.g., ecosystems, epidemics, molecular dynamics) to support learning and research.
  • Leads to IT fluency as opposed to IT Literacy—moving students beyond being a user of tools and information to becoming a creator of tools and information (21st Century Skills)
  • Develops job skills, which lead to income
  • Helps non-computer science people learn how to take advantage of the power and understand limitations of computers
  • Applies to all subject areas—and allows them to advance
  • Doesn’t require changing curriculum or new technologies

Access the Course: Problem Solving through Computational Thinking for Educators

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