Computational Thinking

Computational Thinking is a cognitive strategy utilizing algorithms, abstraction, decomposition and pattern recognition. With Computational Thinking, students develop skills such as critical thinking, analytical thinking, evaluation, and application while learning to solve problems in creative and innovative ways. Support for this toolkit generously provided by Intel.

4 Pillars of Computational Thinking: decompisition, abstraction, algorithmic representation, pattern recognitionComputational Thinking Practice: creating algorithms, working with data, understanding systems, creating computational modelsCoding: Development of instructions that a computer can utilize. Computer Science: the study of computer and algorithmic processes. Computational Thinking: solving problems using computer science concepts.

A Definition of Computational Thinking

Computational Thinking uses the language, logic, and constraints of computers to apply computational methods to problems.

Computational Thinking: A Vital Component of Modern K-12

Though the needs and standards of states and communities can dictate what’s taught in the classroom, it is vital for learning to adapt and evolve.

Hardware and Software for Computational Thinking

Without the right hardware and software, it’s a challenge to create the rich and immersive learning experiences necessary to build computational thinking.

Interview with Jane Krauss: Bringing Education Up to Code with Computational Thinking

Jane Krauss is coauthor of the book Computational Thinking (and Coding) for Every Student: an indispensible resource for those new to computational thinking.

Learning Spaces that Support Computational Thinking

Modern computational thinking spaces emphasize STEM-based education while preparing students for jobs focused on specialized technology skills.

Making the Case for Computational Thinking in the Classroom

 A sample Computational Thinking presentation that can be modified and adapted for your own use when sharing information or securing buy-in.

OER Materials for Computational Thinking and Computer Science

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use and can be remixed, revised, and redistributed at no cost.

The Power of Programming

Programming is a useful skill at all levels of learning. It teaches how to decompose problems, how to think logically, and offers immediate feedback (and reward) to the student.

Video Collection: Computational Thinking

Computer science educator and author Kiki Prottsman has created three introductory videos on computational thinking.

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Innovator Kit Software Requirements

Details of the required and optional software denoted in the Innovator Kit Activity Cards. All of the specified software is freely available for education use or open source.

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Innovator Kit: Activity Card 1

In biology, decomposers, such as worms, fungi, or soil bacterium, break down organic matter into smaller parts. However, as computational thinkers, we are all decomposers breaking down complex processes and problems into smaller, more manageable steps. Decomposition is a skill that comes naturally, in all aspects of our lives.


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Innovator Kit: Activity Card 2

Patterns are all around us. Some patterns are simple to describe—cars taking turns one by one at a stop sign—and others are more complex—the sequence of ads and posts in a social media feed. Once we start looking for patterns in the world around us, we can analyze and use these patterns to help make sense of and solve problems.

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Innovator Kit: Activity Card 3

Take a look at the room around you. It is filled with details, some important and some not so important. Important details might include the size and shape of the room or who is in the room with you. Less important details might include the color of a chair in the room, the shape of the legs on that chair, or whether or not their are pads on the bottom of the legs.

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Innovator Kit: Activity Card 4

In computational thinking, this process of following a step-by-step procedure to overcome a problem is called algorithmic representation or automation. Algorithms are important in computer programming, but we use them in all aspects of day-to-day life, whether solving a math problem, setting an alarm, or remembering where you placed your keys.

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Innovator Kit: Activity Card 7

Block coding with Scratch* is a start, but many professional programmers use text-based languages like Python*. Python will level up your programming skills and enable a new set of opportunities with the Tello* EDU drone, including capturing video, establishing your own flight commands, and much more.

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Innovator Kit: Flyer

The Intel Skills for Innovation Innovator Kit is free with the purchase of 50 or more Intel® CoreTM i3 or better-based devices.

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Innovator Kit: Virtual Learning Adaptation Guide

Suggestions for adaptations and modifications to ensure the Intel Skills for Innovation Innovator Kit works in virtual, online, and hybrid learning settings.

No resources available.