MODULE A-COMPUTATIONAL THINKING AND PROGRAMMING BASES
OBJECTIVES OF THE MODULE
The module aims to offer teachers of the first and second cycle an overview of the introduction of Coding in teaching activities, as well as providing skills for an approach to Coding, both through the visualization of platforms, apps, software and the possibility of doing unplugged coding and coding with educational robotics.
The module intends to provide the tools to help students develop and decline "computational thinking", a logical-creative process that allows a complex problem to be broken down into different parts, to more simply tackle it one piece at a time, so as to solve the general problem in an algorithmic way. Through basic notions of computer science (coding unplugged) and visual programming (use of the Scratch program) the basic concepts of the pedagogical philosophy underlying the phenomenon will be provided.
The module aims to introduce computational thinking into the classroom through coding, using intuitive and fun activities to be proposed directly to the pupils.
WHAT IS COMPUTATIONAL THINKING AND THE PROCESS TO DEVELOP IT
When we face a problem or have an idea , we often intuit the solution but we are unable to formulate it in an operational way to put it into practice. Computational thinking is just that, the ability to imagine and describe a constructive process that leads to the solution. Just as learning to speak helps us formulate complex thoughts, so computational thinking offers us additional tools to support imagination and creativity.
Computational thinking is for everyone . It is a transversal ability that must be developed as soon as possible. It's not just for computer scientists and programmers, but programming is the best way to acquire it . For this reason, literacy campaigns for the dissemination of coding are carried out every year in Europe and in the world. .
THE COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IN THE CURRICULUM OF EVERY SCHOOL
“Computational thinking involves solving problems, designing systems, understanding human behavior through those typical concepts usually attributable to the field of computer science.” ( Wing, 2006)
With computational thinking we can develop problem solving skills, i.e. how to identify, analyze, solve and automate a problem. These skills then materialize in practices designed to enhance intellectual tools such as confidence in dealing with complex problems, in working with others towards common goals, in learning from others by dealing with human and technological aspects.
“ Learning is a process that takes place through the active role of the learner: analysing, building, breaking down, comparing, presenting the object of learning” . ( Papert ).
In kindergarten this ability develops in a game context that is a prelude to children's ability to "think" according to new computer languages.
“ The child, even of preschool age, masters the machine, it is he who programs the computer. And by teaching the computer to think, children embark on an exploration of their own way of thinking . (Papert, Mindstorms, 1980)
Here, even in a school environment, studying and deepening the topic of coding and computational thinking helps the student to learn from others, to understand a problem directly and that there are multiple solutions to a problem, to exploit the importance of the error having the freedom to make mistakes, learning by trial and error, with the ultimate goal being sharing what has been learned.