Monday, 21 August 2017

Computational thinking and the NZ Curriculum

Back in 2013 I took a university paper, the post was kept as draft, however, it has been interesting looking at how things have changed and where things are being put now 4 years later.

We have been asked to provide some feedback based upon a question raised through our EDEM626 course.
This is a worthy topic for this course too and our Ministry of Education too perhaps. What do you think?
Computational thinking is seen as a skill set that every child needs to develop. It is related with a number of other 21st century competencies (problem solving, critical thinking, productivity, and creativity). In EDUsummIT 2013, we aim to advance the discussion about computational thinking by focusing its core competencies, its relation with and distinction from other 21st century competences, and its place in the curriculum.

I look back to a post from 2011 Some of the links however don't seem to work, this one takes you to an informative page
Advances in computing have expanded our capacity to solve problems at a scale never before imagined, using strategies that have not been available to us before. Students will need to learn and practice new skills—computational thinking (CT) skills—to take full advantage of these revolutionary changes brought about by rapid changes in technology. ISTE and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) are collaborating on a project to prepare young learners to become computational thinkers who understand how today's digital tools can help solve tomorrow's problems. CT is vital to all students as we work to raise the level of achievement, prepare students for global competitiveness, and blend academics with real life.
Download the Computational Thinking Teacher Resources now. CSTA and ISTE intend for the CT Teacher Resources to reflect our commitment to the universal idea that CT can work across all disciplines and with all school-age children. The CT Teacher Resources are an introductory package of prototype materials which include:

•   An operational definition of CT for K-12 Education
•   A CT vocabulary and progression chart
•   Nine CT Learning Experiences
•   CT classroom scenarios

The Computational Thinking Leadership Toolkit is now available for download. This companion piece to the Computational Thinking Teacher Resources, includes:
* Making the Case for CT
* Resources for Creating Systemic Change
* Implementing Strategies Guide

Copied from

I have also looked at the csta website around computational thinking,

Looking through the resources, what is the case for CT

CT is a problem-solving process that includes (but is not limited to) the following characteristics:
▪ Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer and other tools to help solve them
▪ Logically organizing and analyzing data
▪ Representing data through abstractions, such as models and simulations
▪ Automating solutions through algorithmic thinking (a series of ordered steps)
▪ Identifying, analyzing, and implementing possible solutions with the goal of achieving the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources
▪ Generalizing and transferring this problem-solving process to a wide variety of problems

Reading the information I am finding it interesting that the Key Competencies mention Thinking.

Computational Thinking: Combining critical thinking and the power of computing. Does this need to be explicitly said in the next version of the New Zealand Curriculum?

"Computational thinking enables a student to express problems, and formulate solutions in a way that means a computer (an information processing agent) can be used to solve them.
Students develop computational and algorithmic thinking skills, and an understanding of the computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies. They become aware of what is, and is not, possible with computing, so they are able to make judgements and informed decisions as citizens of the digital world. Students learn core programming concepts and how to take advantage of the capabilities of computers, so that they can become creators of digital technologies, not just users. They will develop an understanding of how computer data is stored, how all the information within a computer system is presented using digits, and the impact that different data representations have on the nature and use of this information."

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