Anyone who says you can’t apply computational thinking and digital learning strategies to strengthen students’ writing skills is wrong. To the contrary, this innovative learning style helps students hone critical-thinking skills across every discipline.
In my classroom, I teach students computational thinking through free materials from Ignite My Future in School, a partnership between Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education. I especially enjoy using their Curriculum Connectors, online resources for teachers across disciplines to help their students apply computational thinking techniques.
The core tenets of computational thinking are the building blocks that help my students become better learners and problem-solvers across every area of their work—from all areas of reading and language arts. Here’s how five core computational thinking approaches help my students build stronger critical thinking and writing skills:
5 core computational thinking skills every student needs
In The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock famously says, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” This lesson is also true for students. When they read a new book or prepare to write an essay, their process must begin with finding data. However, the data in this case is not numbers and computer code, but examples present in a given work. It is essential to begin with quotes and examples from the text, which help students construct more compelling essays and arguments. With the computational thinking approach to collecting data, they become explorers who are sifting for the most compelling evidence to tell a story or make a point.
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