The Importance of Computational Thinking
For my first blog article I thought I would begin with a topic I am really passionate about. Often regarded as a sub topic of Computer Science, the more I’ve learned about the skill of Computational Thinking, the more I believe it is a standalone subject in its own right.
With such a wealth of knowledge readily available at the click of a search bar, the concept of intelligence is changing. Now more than ever before, today’s society requires problem solvers. Computational Thinking is simply a technique that allows you to solve problems, logically. It consists of four components which I’ve listed below:
Although the concept of Computational Thinking is symbiotically linked with Computer Science, I believe that this skillset can be applied across a whole range of subjects. From Art to Philosophy, computational thinking can be applied to solve a whole spectrum of problems. It provides an adaptable scaffold from which a whole multitude of problems can her solved. For example, after following the Computational Thinking problem solving process, the final algorithm within a piece of Computer Science coursework could be writing a piece of code, while in a Physical Education lesson it could be creating a set play routine for a line out in rugby or peer coaching the correct steps in order to perform an overarm serve in tennis.
Although Computational Thinking, from my own research, has been integrated within the Canadian and United States education systems for some time, it is great to see awareness of the concept is growing within Britain too. Following the 2015 Donaldson report, the welsh government launched the Digital Competence Framework (DCF), which is to be taught across the curriculum alongside literacy and numeracy in order to improve digital competence across the nation. Computational Thinking has been recognised as one of the four cornerstones of the framework.
Within my own teaching of Computer Science, Computational Thinking is the first topic that I teach my students. I explain how it underpins all concepts of programming, but also discuss its wider applications across other subjects and within day-to-day life. Within modern society, the ability to think clearly and make logical, rational decisions is a highly sought after commodity; both within the ever growing computer industry and the wider world.