This study investigated the role of using unplugged computing activities on developing computational thinking (CT) skills of 6th-grade students. The unplugged computing classroom activities were based on the Bebras challenge, an international contest that aims to promote CT and informatics among school students of all ages. Participants of the study were fifty-three 6th-grade students from two public middle schools in Istanbul. The unplugged computing activities involved the tasks with three different difficulty levels covering the CT processes found to be common in CT definitions in the literature. To evaluate students’ CT skills, two equivalent tests were constructed from Bebras tasks considering the same parameters (difficulty levels and CT processes). The results showed that students’ post-test scores were significantly higher than their pre-test scores. There were not any significant differences between students’ scores in terms of gender, and there was no interaction effect between students’ CT scores and their gender.
The paper focuses on the parallels, which are rooted in the simultaneous development of mathematics and informatics. Both mathematics and informatics are based on problem-solving. However, the approaches to determining problems, solution techniques and interpretation of results are different. The paper shows different approaches of mathematics and informatics for solving a simple problem from the informatics competition. It was presented for students, who would be future informatics teachers, and it has become the beginning of the discovery of unexpected relationships and rules' chain, the source of successive tasks, and various methods of their solution. The paper brings the results of the constructivist teaching of students in the form of a fictional interview of mathematician and informatician. Fictional cooperation of a mathematician and an informatician in analysing and solving problems will allow for a detailed analysis and comparison of both fields, which will lead to determining both common and different elements.
Information and communications technologies today are used in virtually any university course when students prepare their papers. ICT is also needed after people are graduated from university and enter the job market. This author is an instructor in the field of informatics related to health care and social sciences at the Riga Stradins University. In practice, he has found that after completing informatics courses (IC) at the university level, students and practicing specialists at various levels find it hard to decide on what data processing method to use in order to interpret extracted results in the relevant area of specialisation. There are various data processing methods in the literature, presented individually and without adequate linkages. The author has found in practice that when such assignments are handled, there is closer linkage among data processing methods than the literature would suggest.
In this article, the authors deal with the following issues: (1) how assignments given during informatics courses at the university level can be integrated with the relevant area of specialisation by making use of professional standards, guidebooks to studies in other courses, descriptions and scholarly publications so as to help students and practicing specialists to take decisions on data processing methods, their use, and the interpretation of their results; (2) how to ensure that educational data related to the area of specialisation are obtained on the basis of statistics in scholarly publications; (3) what kind of content is to be used for students of health care and the social sciences; (4) how to choose methods to resolve data processing issues; (5) what are the recommended principles for evaluating the knowledge, skills and talents of students? The views that are presented in this paper are those of the authors or of other authors.
Mongolia started using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in secondary education relatively late. The computer training and informatics has been included as a subject in the secondary school curriculum in Mongolia since 1988 and in the university curriculum since 1982. This paper presents current situation of informatics education in Mongolia. SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis of Informatics Education in Mongolia, conclusions and future recommendations are also presented.
The article examines update of modules of general IT (Informatics) studies under changes in secondary school programs. It is proposed to create distance-learning courses and use ``tools set'' principles. It will allow broadening the choice of study subjects and will create possibility for students from different faculties to choose the subjects and realization tools that better meet their needs and fields of studies. The developed materials will be available to all students and staff willing to improve IT skills through distance learning. Tasks and knowledge control will be unified in the whole University. The materials of updated Informatics courses will be presented in a virtual learning environment WebCT, including self-control tasks and tests. This will also be very useful for correspondence students.