Computational Thinking – What Is It?

Bonnie BraceyBy Bonnie Bracey Sutton
Editor, Policy Issues

I attended the first CS4HS High School Teacher Workshop: Computational Thinking and Computational Doing from June 25-27, 2010, at the ATLAS Institute on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. (The conference was featured in the Boulder DailyCamera.)

First, a bit of background. I have been working in advocacy for STEM and related technologies, lurking around the edges of computational science for some time thinking about ways in which to incorporate new kinds of thinking for students in our schools. I have attended the leading Supercomputing Conferences and brought teams to the events to try to change teaching and learning so that computational thinking, with games and simulations, could find a prominent place in the forefront of those inserting STEM into the curriculum. However, I am not sure the conference is always happy with the outcomes of teacher participation since it’s difficult to gauge the longterm effects of what happens in the classroom and some presenters don’t have a very high regard for the ability of teachers to work with technology.

But this CS4HS workshop in Boulder was different. Its focus was on teachers, and it was par excellence! Continue reading

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