Have you ever wondered, What is computational thinking? Although this term has been used for quite some time, since back in the day of Seymour Papert, it has predominately been practiced at the college level. For instance, Carnegie Mellon University has been running a program, Project Olympus PROBEs (PRoblem-Oriented Business Explorations) that focuses heavily on computational thinking, or problem solving through computer science techniques. Some of the student projects are amazing, as the program’s goal is to augment and accelerate the process of moving basic research and ideas into the development of business stages and licensing. However, computational thinking has been quickly gaining recognition in the K-12 community as well, especially with the focus on STEM learning.
Recently, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) partnered up and collaborated on a operational definition of computational thinking, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). As an outcome of this collaboration, a computational thinking toolkit was created. The toolkit was created to help K-12 educators learn more about computational thinking and provides resources to help others become more of an advocate for this type of learning. The toolkit not only provides resources, such as, handouts, books, articles, animations, videos and presentations, but it also provides educators with an explanation of how to use and present the materials to students. Check out the toolkit today, and be an advocate for computational thinking for your students!