The current trend is to focus on STEM and Coding. However, focusing on Digital Age Problem Solving in all content areas instead requires students to think critically, systematically, and logically and become digital problem solvers. Learn about Design Thinking, Data Literacy, and Computational Thinking and find ways to use in any classroom with your students.
This session will look at the three aspects of Digital Age Problem Solving: Design Thinking, Data Literacy, and Computational Thinking. Attendees will find ideas for implementing these into any classroom and find tools that teachers and students can use.
EDUCATION IS MOVING FROM TEACHING TO LEARNING
Digital-age problem solving combines three key skills essential to understanding and solving problems in the information age: data literacy, design thinking, and computational thinking. Computational thinking is the thought process involved in taking a problem and breaking it down into small components that a human or computer can use to analyze or create solutions.
- Collect, analyze, interpret, and tell stories using complex sets of data.
- Data is used to help identify the problems to be addressed
- Collection, analysis, interpretation,and action
- Infographic – compelling way to display and share data
- Focus should be on data analysis
Data literacy sources:
Data visualization sources:
Find all kinds of data sources in this government clearinghouse:
- Think like a designer. Design thinking focuses more on understanding problems and developing creative solutions for people than on implementing generic solutions. Uses empathy in the process.
- Design thinking goes through phases of collecting feedback and data, using the data to identify the problems to be solved, developing prototypes, and testing solutions. Feedback from key stakeholders should be used often.
- Phases of the design process are iterative and cyclical — revision after feedback is critical. In design thinking, failure isn’t an end, it’s an opportunity to refine and create something better. Rapid prototyping gives feedback for design.
- Design thinking focuses on divergent thinking — generating and exploring as many ideas as possible before narrowing down to a solution. Even the infeasible should be listed (Throwing things against the wall). Use SCAMPER (substitute, combine, adapt, modify, rePurpose, eliminate, reverse/rearrange) when stumped look at Biomimicry – nature has solutions to all sorts of problems
- Point of View madlibs to focus on human-centered: https://dschool-old.stanford.edu/groups/k12/wiki/22e39/POV_Madlibs.html
- As a (persona), I want to (action), so that I can (reward).
- Replacing KWL with why, what, how
- Why – reason to care or purpose (what students believe)
- What – elements to explore (problems or questions (dissatisfaction with evidence of their beliefs)
- How – How we will explore or gather evidence. Leads to
- Question – scientific process
- Problem – engineering process
- Design Thinking resources from TeachersFirst
Computational thinking is expressing solutions so that humans and computers can understand them. A great way to visualize how to embed it in your classroom is to have the students think like the physicist, economist, artist, mathematician, etc. to identify the problems that need explored. This is not programming computers but logical ways for problem solving. It is a problem solving tool for every classroom that has students think like a problem solver and use higher level cognitive skills.
- What is computational thinking?
- Why is it important to think about?
- How might it different from what we do now?
- How can it enhance learning for students?
- What can happen in your classroom to implement computational thinking strategies?
What its not
- It’s not just more technical details for using software
- It’s not thinking like a computer
- It’s not programming (necessarily)
- It doesn’t always require a computer
- It’s not yet one more thing to add to your curriculum
Why is it important
- It moves students beyond technology literacy
- It creates problem solvers instead of software technicians
- It emphasizes creating knowledge rather than using information
- It presents endless possibilities for creatively solving problems
- It enhances the problem-solving techniques you already teach
It fits with the ISTE NETS
- Teachers apply technology to develop students’ higher order skills and creativity. (III)
- Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works. (4)
- Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world. (6)
Promotes these attitudes
- Confidence in dealing with complexity
- Persistence in working with difficult problems
- Tolerance for ambiguity
- The ability to deal with open ended problems
- The ability to communicate and work with others to achieve a common goal or solution
ISTE Standards for students
Standard 5: Computational Thinker: Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.
Decomposition: Breaking down a problem into its component parts.
Abstraction: Removing extraneous/irrelevant details from a problem to define the elements of a solution that are consistent.
Pattern Recognition: Looking for common elements among different cases of a problem to help us define the rules that we can use to solve it.
Creating Algorithms: The detailed, step-by-step rules we use to solve a problem in a consistent and replicable way.
Evaluation: Determining the effectiveness and efficiency of a solution and whether the solution accurately and precisely solves the problem.
- Tinkering – experimenting and playing
- Creating – designing and making
- Debugging: finsing and fixing errors
- Persevering: keeping going
- Collaborating: working together
- It is a set of instructions or rules that computers understand. People write the code to imagine a process, the code runs the computers, and computers power the devices (anything that actually uses electricity runs on code).
- Reading sheet music and morse code is coding
- Learning to code is like learning a language. At the most basic, the language resembles binary (series of 1’s or 0’s). Some computer languages are easier to work with.
- A program is a set of instructions written as a text file in a particular programming language.
- coding vs. programming… Coding is the special set of instructions or direct commands specifically written to make a program do something , programming is all aspects of having a computer do what you want. In other words, it is the coding, the internet, the interactions…the study of coding plus everything that goes with it
- Easier to start with visual- you just focus on logic. IN text based you also have to teach syntax
- All beginning uses visual- start with concrete kinesthetic
Why teach computer science: Coders are the architects and the engineers of the digital age.
- Makes their thinking visible
- Learn basic logic
- Programming is communication and computational thinking- test, reflect, and adjust
- Kids become empowered in experience, and confidence and becomes part of learning – best in elementary
- Not limited to any field of study- integrated into all
- All can contribute—struggling readers, ESL can still collaborate- level playing field
- Empowers students to take action
- Not limited to technology class- every subject
Known as the “new literacy” and prepares kids for their world
Collaboration- learn to listen and talk effectively, listen and rethink
Persistence- failure provides an avenue for learning
Prepares for more rigorous programming later
“By year 2020 there will be one million more computer science jobs than there are students- “Code.org
Currently Only 20% of software programmers are women
2013 as the U.K. passed a plan to educate every child how to code. In 2014, Barack Obama made history as the first U.S. president to program a computer. Yet critics claim that often only the more affluent schools offer computer science courses, thus denying minorities potential to learn the skills required by the 1.4 million new jobs that will be created during the next ten years. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/15-ways-teaching-students-coding-vicki-davis
Begins concrete and uses familiar context for teaching logic and computational thinking. Focus on logic!
Why teach unplugged activities
Puts all on equal playing ground
Technology limited at school, home, internet problems, testing period- no computer use
Understanding that these are thinking skills first and not all limited to computers
Use coding vocabulary as often as you can to understand that these are thinking skills.
Different courses and includes professional development, Teacher sign up and class sign up, dashboard to monitor student work, other online courses, tutorial apps
Student login: Older students use an email to register, younger students use a word or picture. Creates a special URL for each particular class
Various courses age groups:
- Course 1 for early readers K and 1: learn mouse drag and drop, write programs that draw patterns, get angry bird move to pig, bring a bee to get nectar and get honey, spelling bee- write programs to move letters to spell words
- Course 2 for grades 2-5: for students who can read and new to computer science, programs with same and new characters
- Course 3 for grades 4-5: Move on from course 2: write programs, bounce game
- Open ended sections in all courses- use concepts learned and create an art, story, or game…etc
- Middle 6-8
- CS in Algebra- algebra and geometry to develop video games
- CS in Science-complex scientific models through agent based programming
- Exploring computer science
- Computer science principles (future AP)
- Hour of Code
- Infinity play lab
- Flappy Code
- 10-18: Intro to computer science
- Unplugged activities found in all courses
- All take about 20 hours
- Tracks progress
- Track class progress
- Professionaldevelopment: https://code.org/educate/curriculum/accelerated-course
- Lesson plans which detailed instructions and videos to help teach
- Professional development
- Third Party resources: https://code.org/teacher-dashboard#/plan
- Hour of code by grade level
Build an animated character (even zombies) and then animate it. Students will learn to code by dropping blocks of commands into the correct sequence. You can even track students progress.
Visual programming language designed to help kids learn programming as they solve puzzles and build interactive apps and games
It’s Scratch, but organized into a “package”
Only six free lessons, but freemium options available.
Build games, stories, and interactive animations
Web and mobile access to all projects with sync
Work offline without Internet access
Create classrooms (student accounts)
Create and publish a class showcase with best student projects
Monitor student progress
Tutorial that walks you through using the app: Codey’s Quest
Integrates with school subjects
Tynker lesson plans/curriculum: https://www.tynker.com/school/courses/