Computing as a discipline has common roots with mathematics and written languages, and computing as a way of thinking and handling has been integral to human culture since ever. This is not only a reasonable argument for convincing society to consider informatics as one of the very fundamental pillars of education, but it also puts the potential contributions of teaching informatics in schools into the correct perspective in the context of science and humanities. Many European countries are switching from teaching information technologies to informatics education during the current second decade of this century. Informatics curriculum is becoming a central part of school education. We explain and design a way of developing informatics curriculum that offer the critical competences new generations need to survive and thrive in todays’ knowledge society and will allow them to contribute to the future development of society. These competences also strongly support the development of their intellectual potential and creativity. Our design of informatics curriculum takes into account the interaction with other scientific disciplines as well with the subject didactics, pedagogy and psychology. The starting point is merging constructionism and critical thinking. Constructionism with its “learning by doing” and “learning by getting things to work” enables designing a teaching process in which students acquire knowledge by creating products, analysing the properties and the functionality of their own products, and finally derive motivation to improve these products. Critical thinking asks us not to teach products of science and technology and their application, but to teach the creative process of their development. To implement this approach, we use the historical method allowing the students to learn by productive failures in the process of searching for a solution. To organize the process of learning and make the different steps available to the appropriate age groups we take into account the cognitive dimensions of the revised taxonomy of Bloom. To illustrate how the combination of all these concepts works we present a detailed curriculum for algorithm design, programming, robotics, and communication in networks.
Over its short disciplinary history, computing has seen a stunning number of descriptions of the field's characteristic ways of thinking and practicing, under a large number of different labels. One of the more recent variants, notably in the context of K-12 education, is "computational thinking", which became popular in the early 2000s, and which has given rise to many competing views of the essential character of CT. This article analyzes CT from the perspective of computing's disciplinary ways of thinking and practicing, as expressed in writings of computing's pioneers. The article describes six windows into CT from a computing perspective: its intellectual origins and justification, its aims, and the central concepts, techniques, and ways of thinking in CT that arise from those different origins. The article also presents a way of analyzing CT over different dimensions, such as in terms of breadth vs. depth, specialization vs. generalization, and in terms of skill progression from beginner to expert. Those different views have different aims, theoretical references, conceptual frameworks, and origin stories, and they justify their intellectual essence in different ways.
This study reports the findings of a program that aims to develop pre-service science teachers’ computational problem-solving skills and views on using information and communications technology in science education. To this end, pre-service science teachers were trained on computational thinking, computational problem solving, designing an algorithm, and Python coding, and then they were asked to solve problem situations determined within the science education program using the computational problem-solving process. The study was conducted in a faculty of education in Turkey and carried out conducted in an elective course in the spring semester of the 2019 - 2020 academic year (in an online platform due to the Covid-19 Pandemic). 38 pre-service science teachers were included in the study. In this process, pre-service science teachers’ conceptual development levels regarding computational thinking and their views regarding the use of ICT in schools were collected quantitatively. The development of computational problem-solving skills of pre-service science teachers was scored by a rubric developed in this study. According to the analyzes, pre-service science teachers increased knowledge of computational thinking (t = -5,969, p = .000), enhanced views regarding the use of ICT in schools (t = -2,436, p = .020), and developed computational problem-solving skills (χ2(2) = 9.000, p = 0,011). These findings have the potential to provide evidence on how computational problem-solving skills can be integrated into science teacher education programs.
The Computational Thinking (CT) teaching approach allows students to practice problem-solving in a way that they can use the Computer Science mindset. In this sense, Collaborative Learning has a lot to contribute to educational activities involving the CT. This article presents the design and evaluation of a Collaborative Learning framework for the development of CT skills in students. To design the proposed strategy, several fundamental features of the Collaborative Learning concept of the literature have been studied and sketched. The strategy was applied to middle school students through a digital games programming workshop. Data were collected by three means: (1) collecting artifacts produced during activities; (2) recording of game programming sessions; and (3) applying a structured interview to students. The data analysis showed evidence that the strategy was able to mobilize Computational Thinking skills in addition to mobilizing collaborative skills in learners.
Nowadays, solving problems is substantial for the social relationship human. Computational Thinking (CT) emerges as an interdisciplinary thought process encompassing mental abilities to help students solve and understand problems. Researchers invest in the methodological proposal of activities aimed at CT stimulation, educational approaches, and the conception of technologies that support these activities’ execution. Educational Robotics (ER) is one of these technologies that stand out at different educational levels to favor teamwork, logical thinking, and creativity, skills intimately articulated with the computing paradigm. The main objective of this work is to investigate the impact of ER activities on CT development and subjects learning in the Technical and Vocational Education in High School. For this, we accomplished a study of intervention research type with students and teachers analyzing quantitative and qualitative aspects. The results indicate that the introduction of ER can favor students in the development of CT skills and learning High School subjects.
Integrating computational thinking into K-12 Education has been a widely explored topic in recent years. Particularly, effective assessment of computational thinking can support the understanding of how learners develop computational concepts and practices. Aiming to help advance research on this topic, we propose a data-driven approach to assess computational thinking concepts, based on the automatic analysis of data from learners’ computational artifacts. As a proof of concept, the approach was applied to a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to investigate the course’s effectiveness as well as to identify points for improvement. The data analyzed consists of over 3300 projects from the course participants, using the Scratch programming language. From that sample, we found patterns in how computational thinking manifests in projects, which can be used as evidence to guide opportunities for improving course design, as well as insights to support further research on the assessment of computational thinking.
Research trends on computational thinking (CT) and its learning strategies are showing an increase. The strategies are varying, for example is using games to provide enjoyment, engagement, and experience. To improve the high level of immersion and presence of game objects, learning strategies through games can be improved by virtual reality (VR) technology and its application. However, a systematic review that specifically discusses game based in VR (GBiVR) settings is lacking. This paper reports previous studies systematically about the strategies used to learn CT through games and VR applications. 15 papers were selected through Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. As the result, this study proposes a conceptual framework for designing a strategy to learn CT through GBiVR settings. The framework consists of critical aspects of variables that can be considered in the learning environment like game elements, VR features, and CT skills. All the aspects are discussed below.
Computing science which focuses on computational thinking, has been a compulsory subject in the Thai science curriculum since 2018. This study is an initial program to explore how and to what extend computing science that focused on STEM education learning approach can develop pre-service teachers' computational thinking. The online STEM-based activity-Computing Science Teacher Training (CSTT) Program was developed into a two-day course. The computational thinking test (CTT) data indicated pre-service teachers’ fundamental skills of computational thinking: decomposition, algorithms, pattern recognition, pattern generalization and abstractions. The post-test mean score was higher than the pre-test mean score from 9.27 to 10.9 or 13.58 percentage change. The content analysis indicated that there were five key characteristics founded in the online training program comprised: (1) technical support such as online meeting program, equipment, trainer ICT skills (2) learning management system such as Google Classroom, creating classroom section in code.org (3) the link among policy, curriculum and implementation (4) pre-service teachers' participation and (5) rigor and relevance of how to integrate the applications of computing science into the classroom.
The primary purpose of this study is to investigate CT skills development process in learning environments. It is also aimed to determine the conceptual understanding and measurement approaches in the studies. To achieve these aims, a systematic research review methodology was implemented as the research design. Empirical studies on computational thinking indexed in the Web of Science and ERIC databases were selected without constraint on the publication dates. The studies found were examined and a pre-analysis was conducted by the researchers. Following the pre-analysis, 29 articles were selected to be included in the study. Content analysis was applied in order to determine and evaluate the common codes and themes related to the findings. In conclusion, instead of relying on attractiveness, functionality, market share of educational tools (robotic sets, software packets etc.), availability of qualified learning activities focused on problem solving is the main point practitioners should consider.
The Bebras challenge offers pupils and teachers an engaging opportunity to discover informatics, by solving small tasks that aim at promoting computational thinking. Explanations and comments that reveal the computing concepts underlying the tasks are published after the contest, and teachers are encouraged to use this material in their school practice. In this paper we present an exploratory study aimed at investigating how teachers can make use of Bebras material; in particular our interest is understanding whether teachers are able to identify, comprehend, and apply the computing concepts implied by Bebras tasks, and how they can integrate them into their teaching practice. We qualitatively analyzed teaching projects developed by Italian teachers during a workshop on computing education and based on Bebras tasks; the analysis shows that teachers are in general able to build upon the tasks soundly, but it also raises some critical issues.