STELAR Webinar: Unpacking Computational Thinking & CT's Role in Interdisciplinary Learning

STELAR Webinar: Unpacking Computational Thinking & CT's Role in Interdisciplinary Learning


Computational Thinking and CT have become a buzz word and buzz acronym in schools and education systems worldwide, yet is still a phrase that invokes confusion and debate. This 2-part webinar unpacked CT and discussed it in the context of non-CS disciplinary learning.

In Part 1, Dr. Shuchi Grover provided an encore (with a few relevant contextual edits) of her keynote address to 700 heads of schools in New Delhi in September 2017. She discussed:

  • The Why and What of CT
  • Why is it a "competency whose time has come"?
  • Current (largely) accepted definitions of CT and its constituent elements
  • Related concepts and ideas (relation to programming, digital literacy, CS)
  • What CT looks like in the classroom
  • How countries around the world are approaching the teaching CT
  • What's happening in the US?
  • What are the gaps in research and implications for teacher education?

Part 2 picked up where Part 1 ended, to discuss what CT looks like in settings outside of CS classrooms. Dr. Joyce Malyn-Smith and Irene Lee shared outcomes from the Summit on Computational Thinking from K-12 Disciplinary Perspectives (CT Summit) hosted by Education Development Center (EDC) for NSF's STEM+C and ITEST program communities. The NSF’s purpose in funding this Summit was to:

1. establish and nurture a community of CT thought leaders amongst NSF ITEST and STEM+C project leaders and teacher practitioners
2. gather and analyze NSF’s body of knowledge and lessons learned around CT
3. develop a common framework describing connections between Computational Thinking and various disciplines across K-12 and share it with the national community of stakeholders.

The CT Summit took place in August and November of 2017 at EDC headquarters in Waltham, MA. The first meeting focused on “Framework Building” to identify constructs that define and operationalize CT within the various K-12 disciplines represented in ITEST and STEM+C projects, and to draft a framework for integrating CT in different K-12 disciplines.

The second convening of the Summit focused on “Aligning Assessments” by reviewing CT assessment instruments and checking their alignment with the CT framework developed during the Part 1 of the workshop series, identifying gaps, and suggesting ideas for additional assessments to support CT learned via disciplines.

Please note that session slides are not available for download, but can be viewed in our webinar recording:

Click the fullscreen icon in the video for better viewing