Computational Thinking 1

Process

To complete the WebQuest, go through the steps outlined below in the order they are presented. The first part of the WebQuest will be completed individually, and then you will participate in an online discussion to share ideas with classmates.

What do you know already?

  1. You should have received an e-mail with a link to a short survey designed to assess your current understanding of computational thinking concepts. Before getting started, be sure to complete that short survey.

What is computational thinking?

  1. To begin, read this short article by Wing (2006), a computer scientist and educator, who popularized the term “computational thinking.”
    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/wing/www/publications/Wing06.pdf
  2. More information about computational thinking is provided on the cs4fn website. Follow the links on the site to learn more about aspects of computational thinking such as logical thinking, algorthmic thinking, efficient solutions, scientific thinking, and innovative thinking.
    http://www.cs4fn.org/computationalthinking/

Experiencing computational thinking

  1. To get a better understanding of computational thinking, in this case the idea of algorthms, do the following activity at the cs4fn website:http://www.cs4fn.org/algorithms/swappuzzle/.
  2. Try another activity, in this case one that helps you to understand how computers can represent images: http://sucs.org/~tobeon/project/image.html.

Integrating computational thinking in the classroom

  1. Explore the following websites to get ideas for how you might integrate a computational thinking activity for students in your own classroom.

Design a computational thinking activity

  1. Based on your major and teaching interest, develop a preliminary design for your own classroom activity on computational thinking. Your design should identify a specific skill, technique, concept, or aspect of computational thinking that your activity will address and a brief (less than 150 words) description for how you will teach it. Draw on what you’ve learned about planning learning experiences (see chapters 4 – 8 of your textbook). You may also find it helpful to visit the Wiki repository to find a lesson plan that you are interested in and then try to integrate a computational thinking activity in it.

Share ideas with classmates via online discussion

  1. Post your computational thinking preliminary design in the Computational Thinking WebQuest online discussion forum in the EDCI 27000 Blackboard site no later than Thursday of the assigned week.
  2. Review the examples of computational thinking activities posted by your classmates. Post responses to at least two of your classmates. As you frame your response, consider the following questions.
    • What makes a good classroom learning activity?
    • Which of the preliminary design examples that have been presented do you think will make for a good computational thinking activity? Why?
    • How has using this WebQuest helped you to develop your own understanding of computational thinking?
  3. Complete your responses no later than the end of the discussion period for this online discussion. See the Evaluation section for the scoring rubric.

What have you learned?

  1. At the end of the online discussion, you will receive an e-mail with a link to another short survey about computational thinking concepts. Please complete the short survey.
  2. As a final step, review the Conclusion page of the WebQuest.

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