We have entered a modern age of education where classrooms are commonly filled with students who are programming robots, using data to create a plan for reducing food waste in the cafeteria or working with a computer to design a 3D model of a fabricated reef to protect oyster habitats. What appears as hustle and bustle is active learning where students are using computational thinking (CT).
CT is not “thinking like a computer,” but a set of foundational skills that harness the power of computing to solve problems. It involves formulating problems in a way that a computer can solve them, analyzing data, using models, creating simulations and employing a step-by-step approach to solve problems efficiently and effectively.
Today’s students have grown up with technology at their fingertips. Practicing CT transforms students from consumers of content into creators of content.
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 CT skills to be successful. Students will need to learn and practice CT skills in order to take full advantage of rapid changes in technology.
Benefits for all students
More and more educators are engaging in CT activities in their classrooms as early as kindergarten and in all their classes, from math and art to music and Spanish. We know there’s a strong economic imperative to prepare the next generation of CT-literate students — a labor market opportunity to the tune of $1 billion. But this is about more than high-paying jobs. It’s about giving students the essential skills to create their own futures and helping them find meaning in the tech-powered world around them.
We believe that all educators should use CT concepts in their classrooms. To meet this interest and demand, the International Society for Technology in Education developed the CT Competencies to help educators integrate CT across all disciplines in order to prepare students with the skills needed to solve problems of the future.