1.5: Computational Thinker

Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.

a. Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
b. Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
c. Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
d. Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Both Student Standard 4: Innovative Designer, and Student Standard 5: Computational Thinker speak to students understanding and solving problems and are related to technology. However, the Computational Thinker standard has a more specific leaning towards solving problems based on the computational thinking framework. This differs in the process of defining problems and then utilizing technology to “develop and test solutions”. This was a challenging standard for me to wrap my head around when I first was introduced to it. The indicators of this standard show the different steps of computational thinking, and specifically states in D the task of using algorithmic thinking, another fresh concept to me at the time of introduction. 

Throughout the program I had a heart for passion projects, student empowerment and choice, and social justice work and understanding. At first I thought that the Computational Thinker was strictly in the analytical/logical realm of learning, but I came to realize that it can be used for the creative and passion based realm as well. Learn more about this hybrid in my post, Teaching Social Justice Through Computational Thinking.