Computational Thinking

National Science Foundation - Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) Program Solicitation

ITEST is a program that promotes PreK-12 student interests and capacities to participate in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communications technology (ICT) workforce of the future. To achieve this objective, ITEST supports the development, implementation, and selective spread of innovative strategies for engaging students in experiences that: 

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A new perspective on computational thinking

This article examines cognitive essence of computational thinking (CT). It introduces a clear and universal definition and suggests that we teach children biological CT skills long before they need to learn electronic CT skills.

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Computational Thinking in Elementary and Secondary Teacher Education

Computational thinking (CT) is broadly defined as the mental activity for abstracting problems and formulating solutions that can be automated. In an increasingly information-based society, CT is becoming an essential skill for everyone. To ensure that students develop this ability at the K-12 level, it is important to provide teachers with an adequate knowledge about CT and how to incorporate it into their teaching.

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A Framework for Aligning Needs, Abilities and Affordances to Inform Design and Practice of Educational Technologies

This paper addresses the need for enhancing our awareness of user‐centered design in educational technology through a more explicit and systematic alignment between the needs of educational technology users (learners and educators) and the affordances provided by the technology. First, we define the term “affordance” and discuss it from the perspectives of cognitive psychology and user interaction design.

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3D fossils for K-12 education: A case example using the giant extinct shark Carcharocles Megalodon

Fossils and the science of paleontology provide a charismatic gateway to integrate STEM teaching and learning. With the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), as well as the exponentially increasing use of three-dimensional (3-D) printing and scanning technology, it is a particularly opportune time to integrate a wider variety of fossils and paleontology into K–12 curricula.

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Empowering Middle School Students to Create Data-enabled Social Apps

MIT App Inventor has enabled middle school students to learn computing while creating their own apps-including apps that serve community needs. However, few resources exist for building apps that gather and share data. There is a need for new tools and instructional materials for students to build data-enbaled, community-focused apps. We developed an extension for App Inventor, called AppleVis, which allows app-makers to publish and retrieve data from our existing web-based collaborative data visualization platform. 

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Eliciting Algebraic Reasoning with Hanging Mobiles

How algebraic reasoning can be fostered within the important big idea of equivalence is demonstrated using hanging mobiles. A concrete-representational-abstract approach is used, without any formal algebraic symbolism, to elicit algebraic reasoning and higher-order thinking.

[NOTE: Fee or membership is required to access.]

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Summer programs train teachers in engineering and robotics

Tandon’s Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program, also known as RET Site in Mechatronics and Robotics with Entrepreneurship and Industry Experiences, is a National Science Foundation-sponsored initiative that has been educating educators since 2003.

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Teachers and students pair up to widen the STEM pipeline

The National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program recently awarded more than $1 million to the three-year project, which will combine robotics and entrepreneurial education to improve teacher practices and stud

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Teacher Transformations in Developing Computational Thinking: Gaming and Robotics Use in After-School Settings

The challenges of addressing increasing calls for the inclusion of computational thinking skills in K-12 education in the midst of crowded school curricula can be mitigated, in part, by promoting STEM learning in after-school settings. The Visualization Basics: Using Gaming to Improve Computational Thinking project provided opportunities for middle school students to participate in after-school clubs focused on game development and LEGO robotics in an effort to increase computational thinking skills.

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