Computational Thinking

Wired has a great article describing the need for computational thinking in all fields in The End of Science.  There is a diagram that goes along with it that is also helpful.

Python is my language of choice because it is free, relatively easy to learn, and powerful, however you can implement computational thinking with any language or without technology at all (check out CS Unplugged for example).

If you are going to use programming with your students, check out What programming language should I use/learn?
  • Useful 3rd party Python modules are:
    • VPython - For graphing and 3D objects. (necessary if you wish to do the Slope Art Project)
    • SAGE - Useful for classrooms/students that need a web based programming solution. Allows you and your students to maintain a online notebook of previous work and create interactive textbooks.

Posts on Programming & Computational Thinking:

Resources for learning and teaching Python:

People and Groups to Connect with:
  • Python EDU-SIG is a mailing list covering all sorts of topics regarding Python and Education. Brilliant innovators and never a dull post.
  • Natural Math and Math Future are the work of the incredible Maria Droujkova who always has new and innovative resources, speakers, and thoughts.
    Other Resources for Programming:
    • Alice - Brainchild of Randy Pausch et al. Allows students to create their own stories using programming. Boys and girls, young and old love this free software and it has been used successfully in English, History, and Humanities classrooms.
    • Arduino - Open source and inexpensive microcontroller. Allows your students to program robots, sensors, etc. The Arduino makes it just as easy for students to learn programming especially if they are very hands on.
    • Computer Science for Fun - Magazine with fun math, science, and magic tricks for getting students interested in CS.
    • Computer Science Teaching Association - Great way to connect with others.
    • Google Computational Thinking Curriculum - Lessons for getting started in computational thinking tomorrow!
    • Project Euler - A whole lifetime of math and programming knowledge could be obtained through this fun puzzles.
    If you have additional resources let me know in the comments and I will encorporate them into the list.

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