Exploring Computational Thinking

Exploring Computational Thinking is one of Google’s latest endeavors in K-12 curriculum. Computational thinking (CT), according to Google, involves a set of problem-solving skills and techniques that are commonly used by software engineers to write computer programs.

Innocent girl on laptop

Several of this computational techniques are the following:

  • Problem decomposition: the ability to break down a problem into sub-problems
  • Pattern recognition: the ability to notice similarities, differences, properties, or trends in data
  • Pattern generalization: the ability to extract out unnecessary details and generalize those that are necessary in order to define a concept or idea in general term
  • Algorithm design: the ability to build a repeatable, step-by-step process to solve a particular problem.

Several mathematics teachers and Google engineers collaborated to create lesson examples on how to incorporate CT in K-12 curriculum.  Some of these lessons have incorporated Python programming.

A related talk to this topic is Conrad Wolfram’s teaching kids real math with computers.

H/T: Google’s Research Blog

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3 thoughts on “Exploring Computational Thinking

  1. Great article. Excellent summary of the project. To clarify, the Computational Thinking project did not come as a result of Wolfram’s talk. Just an excellent example of convergent thinking. We have the video on the site as an example of what is possible with CT and how we hope it will change math and science classrooms from consuming technology to creating with technology.

    We just posted three new lessons on the site and I hope your readers will share their ideas and experiences on Google’s Computational Thinking forum.

    • Thanks for the info Phil. I just edited it. Are you part of this project? I think this is an excellent one. I agree to most of Wolfram’s arguments.

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