What is Computational Thinking? #CTMindset

What is Computational Thinking? #CTMindset

I am growing a little tired of the coding narrative. Suggesting everyone should code seems quite trivial without any fundamental research as to why we should all be doing that and leaves me feeling offended.

Whoa, what? Brian just said “not everyone should code.”

No, I didn’t.

I’m suggesting that we look beyond coding. Coding is a snippet of computational thinking, which is far more important.

Computational thinking comprises of a few parts:

  1. Decomposition
  2. Analyzing and Organizing Data
  3. Formulating Problems and Possible Solutions
  4. Automating Solutions
  5. Algorithmic Thinking and Logical Reasoning

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I want people to realize that the concept of coding happens all the time in many classrooms. Kids tinker, make, solve problems, collaborate and challenge each other all the time. I’d argue that most teachers already do most of this list, without the awareness.

The Hour of Code movement is great because it raises awareness but does little from the aforementioned list. HOC is a superb entry point but not a destination.

Coding isn’t the only way to demonstrate these skills – and technology isn’t even required.

I’ve been pushing coding for close to a decade now and am pleased to see it finally get some traction (and there were many before me). Now it is time for a next step. As such, I am proposing a new hashtag #CTMindset (Computational Thinking Mindset) to remind us how people think, computers think and technology works. If we can combine the three, maybe there is some hope.

Check out: Computational Thinking by Jeannette Wing


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3 Responses for this post

  1. Enzo Ciardelli
    Enzo Ciardelli
    | |

    Hi Brian,
    Hour of Code is definitely both a positive and negative event. It is positive as a means of raising awareness. However, even the organizers of the event say it is not nearly enough. Teachers who use hour of code activities should consider it as a springboard to more. On its own, it is really not worth. doing. My twitter feed was really busy with posts during hour of code week. I encourage all teachers to recognize the need to teach students the skills that coding and CS bring to the table.


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