Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Week 12 Readings

“Computational Thinking in K-12: A Review of the State of the Field”
Grover and Pea

This paper speaks about how computational thinking can be a very important and different aspect of teaching of STEM subjects in the classroom. Computational thinking is described as a student having a practical approach to a problem in the following way:
1.     Thinking of computation in a creative way to solve a problem
2.     Dismissing abstract views that can reduce the focus on the necessary information that is needed in understanding and solving the problem
3.     Using data and information to facilitate the creation of knowledge
4.     Using different computational tools, such as algorithms, programming, and digital devices that can be used to solve a problem
The paper also mentions in order for this to be fostered correctly in the classroom, there must be a “low floor, high ceiling” guide. This would mean that whatever computational tool was used in the classroom was “low” enough for novice students to experience and learn and, at the same time, be “high” enough for expert students to benefit and learn beyond the parameters of the questions at hand.

“Integrating computational thinking with K-12 science education using agent-based computation: A theoretical framework”
Sangupta, Kinnebrew, Basu, Biswas, and Clark

            This paper offers a more theoretical approach as how computational thinking can be implemented into the classroom. It speaks on the concept of abstractions, benefits of computational thinking, agent-based computation, visual programming, and selection of initial curricular topics. Also, the paper takes a looks at the principles of program design and a pilot study performed.

My blog is very limited this week because I found both of the papers to be confusing. I am not familiar with computation, so I could not entirely grasp the “big picture” the authors were trying to relay. I’m struggling to see how this concept can be implemented into a classroom as well. Am I thinking too literal or is my ignorance to the literal definition of computation limiting me from grasping the connection between computation and computational thinking?


  1. I also struggled somewhat with trying to envision how this might look in the classroom when incorporating CT. I think you might be thinking too literally unless I am also thinking so literally that I don't understand what I thought I understood. From my understanding, CT is simply a tool to help learners access information that is best presented through CT, such as the graphical relationships between d, v, and a. I am also confused, however, with how to apply CT to more topics besides the ones mentioned.

  2. I also struggled to synthesize this week's readings, due to my small knowledge of all things computer related. I think that incorporating these topics into classrooms is important, but as the future teacher I don't see how I will be able to practically incorporate it into class time while also reaching my academic benchmarks.