Computational Thinking: Digital Literacy in School Curricula
On June 16, 2023, the conference Computational Thinking: Digitale Geletterdheid in School Curricula took place. This conference on computational thinking, an essential skill for 21st-century learners was open to all teachers in primary and secondary education, regardless of subject area, as well as teacher educators, researchers, publishers, curriculum designers, and members of curriculum reform teams from the Netherlands and abroad.
(Informatie in het Nederlands vindt u hier.)
09:30 - 10:00 Registration
10:00 - 11:00 Opening & keynote Computational thinking in je vak. Maar hoe dan? Wie het weet, mag het zeggen! by Bert Bredeweg (HvA/UvA)
Computational thinking in school subjects. But how? Who knows, may tell!
Computers are making a firm mark on modern society. It is therefore important that we understand how computers work so that we can harness the power of the device for our wants and needs. The field that focuses on digital technology is called computer science. So you might think that everyone has to become a computer scientist to hold their own in the modern world. That's quite a lot. On the other hand, there are subject teachers (Mathematics, Geography, Dutch, etc.) whose curricula are already completely full and who are not necessarily enamored with computer science, or at least, who do not immediately see why teaching their subject should care about this computer science hype. One is busy enough as it is. See here the dilemma!
In this lecture I am going to try to bring these worlds closer together. My starting point is that a change can only be successful if it adds value. Can we clarify what the added value of computer science is for subjects such as those mentioned earlier and thereby substantiate that computer science is more than the desire of a few eccentrics? We then focus on Computational Thinking. And the insights from Artificial Intelligence are going to help us with that. "Interesting," I hear the reader thinking, "but how?" Now, that's what we're going to discuss during this lecture (and we'll leave ChatGPT out of it)....
11:00 - 11:30 Break
11:30 - 12:30 Parallel session 1
- Computational thinking & AR in mathematics education, by Sylvia van Borkulo, UU
- Starten met CT in de klas, by Judith Bal and Nienke Schut, NEMO Science Museum
Computational Thinking & AR in mathematics education
Materials: pdf workshop
Computational Thinking is getting great attention in education. There are also opportunities in mathematics classes to apply the principles of computer science in solving mathematical problems. In this working group we will inform you about the project <colette/> (Computational Thinking Learning Environment for Teachers in Europe, https://colette-project.eu/) in which several European partners are working on a collection of short assignments on the smartphone focused on computational thinking. In this workshop, you will work on a series of assignments from the <colette/> project, programming constructions of cubes that you will then view with augmented reality (AR). The combination of the "visual" programming language Blockly and AR encourages both computational thinking and the development of spatial insight and understanding of the concept of variable. Through questions and examples, you will have the opportunity to think for yourself about how you might incorporate computational thinking into your own lesson.
Essential questions then, of course, are: do you think this is math? Could it be addressed in your math lessons?
Bring your tablet or smartphone!
Starting CT in the classroom
Material: link teaching materials (in Dutch)
Target group: Primary school teachers and lower secondary school teachers
In the EU project CTPrimED, NEMO together with two partners has developed teaching materials for teachers to get started with CT in the classroom. In this hands-on workshop we will give a brief explanation of the Roadmap for using Computational Thinking in school and related activities. And, of course, you will get to work on the activities yourself, which you can also do in the classroom the next day.
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:45 - 14:45 Parallel session 2
- From Theory to Practice: Computational Thinking in Pure and Applied Mathematics Education, by Christos Chytas, UU
- Integrating Computational Thinking in your classroom: a practical workshop, by Sabiha Yeni & Jacqueline Nijenhuis, Radboud University
From Theory to Practice: Computational Thinking in Pure and Applied Mathematics Education
- website TeaEdu4CT
- surfdrive dissemination documents
- powerpoint From Theory to Practice: Computational Thinking in Pure and Applied Mathematics Education
- excel: Unit 1 - Titanic
- pdf Titanic
This workshop aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice by exploring the integration of computational thinking in pure and applied mathematics education. Designed for mathematics teachers, the workshop focuses on accessible computational tools such as GeoGebra and MS Excel and how they can be effectively incorporated into applied and pure mathematics (wiskunde A and B) lessons. By leveraging these tools, teachers can enhance students' understanding of mathematical concepts, promote problem-solving skills, and encourage a deeper engagement with mathematical reasoning. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore hands-on activities, best-ish practices and gain practical insights on incorporating computational thinking into their mathematics classrooms.
Integrating Computational Thinking in your classroom: a practical workshop
Material: presentation (pdf)
During this workshop you will be presented with examples from the CT in Context project to show how CT can be integrated in concrete lessons about subjects such as biology or languages. You will collaborate with colleagues in developing integrated lesson material for your subject. We will focus on unplugged approaches (e.g. decision trees) as well as digital/plugged approaches (e.g., digital storytelling).
14:45 - 15:15 Break
15:15 - 16:00 Closing panel Computational thinking in educational practice: opportunities, main obstacles and their possible solutions, by Jos Tolboom (Dutch/English)
Computational thinking in educational practice: opportunities, main obstacles and their possible solutions
The two NRO projects on computational thinking that are being completed today have involved intensive collaboration with teachers.
Opportunities were demonstrated and exploited. But of course problems surfaced, even of an unforeseen nature.
How were the opportunities experienced, how were the problems solved? What are the implications for the curriculum? What does the research agenda look like after these projects?
A panel consisting of:
- Juan Dominguez, math and physics teacher at Willem de Zwijger College in Bussum
- Thijs Goedegebure, lecturer in biology at Openbaar Onderwijs Groningen
- Ramon Moorlag, computer science teacher Ds. Pierson College in 's-Hertogenbosch
- Natasa Grgurina, curriculum developer digital literacy SLO
- Erik Barendsen, professor of science didactics Radboud University and professor of computer science didactics Open University
discusses the above issues. And, of course, the audience may also have a say.
This conference was organized by two projects: NRO-CMT on CT in mathematics education, led by Utrecht University’s Freudenthal Institute, and CT in Context on CT in different school subjects, led by Radboud University.
For more information, please contact Sylvia van Borkulo.
Erik Barendsen, on behalf of the CT in Context project
Paul Drijvers, on behalf of the CMT-project