Introducing Computational Thinking

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computational thinking

Here are some questions about computer science (CS) education that we hear from concerned parents.

“My child doesn’t want to become a programmer. Is this education for everyone?”

“When I learned programming, it was C++. Now kids learn Python. When they go out in the field, it may be some other language. What’s the use of learning this now if it’ll be some other language in a few years?”

“I saw an article that code will be written by A.I.s in the near future. Isn’t it better to learn something more foundational?”

While these are valid concerns, they come from equating CS education with programming. CS education is bigger than that. It’s the new literacy in this digital era. Similar debates took place in the early 1900s when Math was introduced in public school education [1]. It’s interesting to see how CS education is on a very similar track to that of Math education becoming a core subject. At the center of this education is computational thinking skills which is all about problem solving.

What is Computational Thinking?

What is Computational Thinking? We use this skill every day – whether you’re searching for informatino online, or looking for the most efficient route to the groceries. Computational thinking is often misunderstood as a way of thinking like a computer. Computational thinking is a mindset that uses logic and creativity to solve problems. Computational thinking helps you solve problems by decomposing a problem into smaller pieces, identifying patterns, and creating algorithms. Computational thinking skills are especially useful when working with computers. A highly skilled person will be able to come up with creative and logical solutions.

 Why is computational thinking important?

In today’s ever-changing world, we are met with complex large-scale problems that require creative and logical solutions. The level of abstraction that today’s world is operating on is getting more removed from the physical realities. The metaverse, non fungible tokens, cryptocurrencies and stock trading are just some examples of the complex ‘realities’ that our children will be living in. Also, with artificial intelligence making so many decisions for us in our daily lives, computational thinking may not a luxury but a survival skill.

Where can children learn computational thinking?

Learning to code is a great way to develop computational thinking skills. A creative solution needs a logical algorithm to make it work. Coding is the perfect activity to put this into practice: 1) Define a problem –> 2) Design a solution –> 3) Implement –> 4) Test it –> 5) Make improvements.

Popfizz offers a CS pathway that is designed around developing computational thinking skills.

Popfizz CS Pathway

All industries are software driven whether it is a restaurant business, education, or sports. This means that having computational skills and fluency in using technology will give far greater advantage in career choices. Start learning computer science and become a better problem solver.

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