Why Computational Thinking Is Beneficial For Children
31 Jan 2020
In recent years, computational thinking has become the new buzzword. On examining the value of the skill, some educationists assert that it should be an important aspect of primary education. In the 21st century, it is considered as a key skill to solve real-world problems.
As we are surrounded by the world of technology, grabbing it with logic will ensure long-term success. And that preparation begins from early childhood. Rather than teaching children about specific programming languages and hardware, schools must prepare children to think with creativity, complexity, and logic.
What is Computational Thinking?
Computational thinking refers to a powerful universal problem-solving technique that utilizes concepts and ideas from computer science and expressing solutions to those problems so that they can be run on a computer. It is an approach that breaks complex things and challenges into manageable chunks.
Some of the computational thinking (CT) skills include:
- Creative problem solving
- Logical thinking
- Breaking complex problems into more comprehensible steps
- Recognizing Patterns
Core Components of Computational Thinking:
Computational thinking involves decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, and algorithms. Decomposition invites students to split down complex problems into smaller, comprehensible problems. Pattern recognition guides students to set connections between similar problems and experiences. Abstraction invites students to focus on important information while ignoring irrelevant details. Lastly, students use algorithms when they design simple steps to find solutions for problems.
Why it is important for children?
It is of high interest to teach the new generation of job seekers how to live in today’s innovation-based society and set them up for a job in the ICT(Information and communication technology) world.
Secondly, children are quick learners, which implies that teaching them the skill of computational thinking will be relatively simple. Besides this, mastering the skill of computational thinking from a young age will boost their motivation.
It is not necessary that computational thinking can be understood with the help of electronic devices. In children start developing the kind of sense from everyday creative activities like thinking about sorting toys or a cookie recipe in which they learn the relation between the desired goal and the corresponding sequence of steps that need to perform just like they need to do when writing code.
Being able to resolve problems in segments will not only offer an advantage in the domain of ICT but in everyday life as well. As it helps children to understand that some tasks might seem very tough at first but are actually very doable. This will boost their confidence and allow them to improve their capabilities.
Moreover, research has revealed that “computer programming can help young children with a variety of cognitive skills, including number sense, visual memory, language skills. Also, it aids children to become divergent thinkers; they learn how to look at a problem from different points of view, come up with many possible solutions and select the best solution.
How to develop computational thinking skills in children?
While teaching the children about new concepts a number of challenges come up. They find problems in concentrating on a single task for a longer time and plus abstract thinking might be challenging for them at such a younger stage.
Below are some ways to tackle this kind of challenges:
Hence, teaching computational thinking to a new generation of innovators is necessary as it helps them recognize that those tasks which seem tough earlier are actually very simpler to do. This enhances this work capability in everyday activities as well.
- First include small tasks in children’s assignments as opposed to long assignments. It ensures that by the time they started feeling tedious they have learned something new and more and it will increase their efficiency also.
- Plan a teaching method that appeals to children’s imagination. This can be achieved by using bright colors, using physical objects or including a storyline or roleplay.
- Add variety in skill levels for children. Plan a game in which the goal remains the same but the steps to be taken to reach that goal get more difficult over time. This will help children to think more ways to solve the same problems.
- Computational thinking is a very abstract idea. So to teach them these kinds of things let them step into the physical world and experience the objects. Provide children something to hold in their hands, like cards or blocks.
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