Block programming is a great invitation to learning to code. The excitement from Children's Garden students in Nairobi, Kenya, spread as they succeeded in creating a maze game with Scratch from MIT. The beauty is the surprise that they express in their own abilities to create interactive content on the computer. Our journey into Computational Thinking gets deeper!
Coding is not an end in itself. I find that teaching computational thinking is a critical process that levels the playing field between experienced and non-experienced computer users. Instead of emphasizing computer skills in the short time we get together, students and I explore a way of thinking that lets them begin to explore technological innovation through developing critical thinking skills. I am amazed at how this approach to working with students who have not really used computers gives them a more direct entry into the field of computer science.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) developed an operational definition of Computational Thinking. The problem-solving process includes using logic, finding patterns in data that work in particular instances, analyzing these patterns and developing generalizations, simplifying steps to solutions and then using algorithmic thinking to develop models to be used in future problem-solving. The full flyer and more information can be downloaded at http://www.iste.org/docs/ct-documents/computational-thinking-operational-definition-flyer.pdf?sfvrsn=2
All young people are capable of developing computational thinking and we don't need to wait until all conditions are perfect. We have begun with weekly sessions and will work towards developing an intercultural relationship in which children from different economic advantages begin to develop apps that might help a community.
One of the students just texted: "Its our joy that we are able to utilize this opportunity that you have offered us to study. We shall do our very best to achieve maximumly from the programme." These are the messages that tell us to press on!
Villages Innovate Kathleen is a teacher committed to Service Learning concerning global issues. She is a mother to two grown men who she regularly video conferences with just so they can keep up with her.
Digital Commuter Strategy Our big idea is to use digital technology to improve and streamline the end-to-end experience of New York City's public transportation system. We're on the hunt for a mom who is as passionate as we are about innovation in public transportation.