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Join Phil Wagner, the Curriculum Fellow for Google's Exploring Computational Thinking project, to discuss teaching higher order thinking skills that are used by computer scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to solve problems.
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Wednesday, June 6th 2012 we met online at 4pm Pacific, 7pm Eastern time.
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About Exploring Computational Thinking project
The project began about 3 years ago to support the STEM and CS community. The concept of Computational Thinking was first referenced by
and brought into the mainstream by
. Math and science teachers were brought in to develop curriculum and promote computational thinking so others would be inspired to implement it in their own classrooms.
The comics on this page come from
, one of Phil's favorite Creative Commons projects on the subject.
Computational thinking includes the higher order thinking skills that are used by computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and others to solve problems. While computers and technology are not essential to this process, they are useful for problems involving large amounts of data or repeated use of an algorithm.
The process of computational thinking as it is described at Google is to decompose or break down the problem, look for patterns in the data, create abstractions, and finally develop an algorithm that can be used by others to solve the problem and others like it.
We believe computational thinking is relevant to students because it enables them to see how computer science applies to what they are interested in and is necessary if they are to innovate and create in this age of big data and enormous challenges. Computational thinking is often referred to as CS + X for all x. This means that wherever computer science meets another discipline, students discover how it is relevant to their lives and how useful it can be.
The project can be found at
I am a math/science/robotics teacher. I came to work at Google on the Exploring Computational Thinking project, because I wanted to spread this idea and help others create resources that were appropriate for their classrooms. In addition to my work at Google, I blog at
and I created the Android app
to enable students to collect scientific data using only their phones. I can be found on
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