computational thinking

The CSK8 Research Group (Maya Israel, Quinn Wherfel, Melinda Snodgrass, and Saad Shehab) will lead a discussion about the wide-ranging initiatives to include computer programming and computational thinking in K-12 instruction, and implications for academically diverse learners. They will also share their approach to studying computing education and some implications for K-12 instruction.

Getting students to embrace computational thinking and creative problem solving is not easy. But if done successfully, it can bring great benefits to the students now, and in the future. In this talk, Hon-Wai will discuss how he uses fun problems and activities to get students to unconsciously think about computational thinking. Some of these examples include MatheMagic, solving problems with graph coloring, CS UnPlugged activities (sorting networks, parity-based-puzzles, etc), creative use of induction, zero-knowledge proofs, pancake flipping problems.

Kenwood Elementary in Champaign Unit 4 embraced the mission of technology and literacy for the community less than 18 months ago.   With strong partnerships, and a dedicated staff, they are re-envisioning educational experiences for students and families.  Explore how educators are engaging students, teachers, and the community using, computational thinking lesson planning, unplugged activities, the collaborative framework, Etoys & Scratch, and Community Tech Time.

Daniel Wendel from MIT will be Skyping in to present. He will be talking about their BioGraph project, an NSF-funded effort to study the impact of complex systems understanding and computational thinking (by way of making and using StarLogo TNG models) in introductory Biology classes.  He will talk about tools and curriculum, their original experimental design, and the modifications they've had to make to get the teacher buy-in needed. 

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