In Education 4.0, a personalized learning process is expected, and that students are the protagonist. In this new education format, it is necessary to prepare students with the skills and competencies of the 21st-Century, such as teamwork, creativity, and autonomy. One of the ways to develop skills and competencies in students can be through block programming, which can be used with emerging technologies such as robotics and IoT and in an interdisciplinary way. Thus, block programming in High School is important because it is possible to work on aspects such as problem-solving, algorithmic thinking, among other skills (Perin et al., 2021), which are necessary in the contemporary world. Thus, our Systematic Mapping Study (SMS) aims to identify which block programming tools support of Education 4.0 in High School. Overall, 46 papers were selected, and data were extracted. Based on the results, a total of 24 identified block programming tools that can be used in high school collaboratively and playfully and with an interdisciplinary methodology. Moreover, it was possible to see that most studies address block programming with high school students, demonstrating a lack of studies that address block programming with teachers. This SMS contributed to identifying block programming tools, emerging technologies, audience (teacher or student), and learning spaces where block programming is being worked on.
Computational Thinking (CT) has emerged in recent years as a thematic trend in education in many countries and several initiatives have been developed for its inclusion in school curricula. There are many pedagogical strategies to promote the development of elementary school students’ CT skills and knowledge. Unplugged learning tasks, block-based programming projects, and educational robotics are 3 of the most used strategies. This paper aimed to analyze the effect of Scratch-based activities, developed during one scholar year, on the computational thinking skills developed and concepts achieved by 4th-grade students. The study involved 189 students from two school clusters organized into an experimental group and a control group. To assess students’ computational knowledge, the Beginners Computational Thinking Test developed by Several Zapata-Cáceres et al. (2020) was used. The results indicate statistically significant differences between the groups, in which students in the experimental group (who performed activities with scratch) scored higher on the test than students in the control group (who did not use Scratch).
This study aims to provide a deeper understanding about the Bebras tasks, which is one of the computational thinking (CT) unplugged activities, in terms of age level, task category, and CT skills. Explanatory sequential mixed method was adopted in the study in order to collect data according to the research questions. The participants of the study were 113,653 school students from different age levels. Anonymous data was collected electronically from the Turkey 2019 Bebras challenge. Factor analysis was employed to reveal the construct validity to determine how accurately the tool measured the abstract psychological characteristics of the participants. In addition, the item discrimination index was calculated to measure how discriminating the items in the challenge were. Qualitative data gathered through the national Bebras workshop was analysed according to content analysis. The findings highlighted some interesting points about the implications of the Bebras Challenge for Turkey, which are discussed in detail. Furthermore, common problems of Bebras tasks are identified and possible suggestions for improvement are listed.
Problem-solving and critical thinking are associated with 21st century skills and have gained popularity as computational thinking skills in recent decades. Having such skills has become a must for all ages/grade levels. This study was conducted to examine the effects of grade level, gender, chronotype, and time on computational thinking skills. To this end, the study was designed to follow a longitudinal research model. Participants were 436 secondary school students. Computational thinking test scores were collected from the students at certain time intervals. Results indicate that computational thinking skills are independent of gender, time, and chronotype but differ significantly depending on grade level. The interaction between grade level and time of testing also has a significant impact on computational thinking skills. The difference in grade level can be interpreted as taking an information technologies course increases computational thinking. The results suggest that such courses should be promoted to children at a young age. The joint effect of gender, grade level, and chronotype were not statistically significant and it is recommended to conduct future studies to investigate this result.
The new Croatian Informatics curriculum, which introduces computational thinking concepts into learning outcomes has been put into practice. A computational thinking assessment model reflecting the learning outcomes of the Croatian curriculum was created using an evidence-centered design approach. The possibility of assessing the computational thinking concepts, abstraction, decomposition, and algorithmic thinking, in an actual classroom situation and examples of such assessment is increasingly coming to the forefront of computer science educational research. Precisely for that purpose, the research was conducted. Research data are collected through the test and questionnaire of 407 pupils (10 middle schools, age 12), analysed by exploratory factor analysis and non-parametric tests. Results showed that the presented model was suitable to assess the understanding of the concepts of abstraction and algorithmic thinking, independently of the previous experience with programming languages and pupil's gender, while assessment of decomposition needs more work and improvement, some recommendations are provided. Also, it received positive feedback from pupils and teachers what implicated that such an assessment model could help teachers in building a real-time measurement instrument.
When we “think like a computer scientist,” we are able to systematically solve problems in different fields, create software applications that support various needs, and design artefacts that model complex systems. Abstraction is a soft skill embedded in all those endeavours, being a main cornerstone of computational thinking. Our overview of abstraction is intended to be not so much systematic as thought provoking, inviting the reader to (re)think abstraction from different – and perhaps unusual – perspectives. After presenting a range of its characterisations, we will explore abstraction from a cognitive point of view. Then we will discuss the role of abstraction in a range of computer science areas, including whether and how abstraction is taught. Although it is impossible to capture the essence of abstraction in one sentence, one section or a single paper, we hope our insights into abstraction may help computer science educators to better understand, model and even dare to teach abstraction skills.
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.
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.
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 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.