Computational Thinking

This is an expertise exchange in the Cyberlearning 2019 Expertise Exchange session

Session Leaders: Brian Magerko and Quinn Burke

Since Jeannette Wing’s 2006 influential article on computational thinking (CT) as a K-12 educational imperative, a total of forty (40) states have enacted—or are in the process of enacting—computer science (CS) standards and frameworks for their K-12 schools. What was once considered an erudite (even arcane) technical skill a decade ago is now promoted as a fundamental 21st century literacy for all children. But despite these remarkable gains, there are still many challenges associated with CT, including how schools define it, how they plan to integrate it into the school day (i.e., stand alone coursework vs. integrated curricula), and how researchers and practitioners can meaningfully assess it. All three of these challenges have steep implications in terms of equity of access among students and ensuring quality instruction going forward. In this session, we will offer a brief overview of these wider challenges facing CT, and then lead a lively exchange among attendees discussing what insights they have gained and challenges they have encountered in terms of developing and implementing meaningful and rigorous CT instruction and activities.