ICT & Computing in Education

The site for all those with a professional interest in teaching, using, managing and leading educational ICT and Computing

The ICT and Computing in Education site aims to provide practical suggestions and useful information.

Applying computational thinking in the “real world”

One of the justifications for teaching computing and coding is that “computational thinking” is a useful skill for pupils to have, in order to apply it in wide variety of situations. A worthy aim, but I’ve heard very few convincing examples given. Actually, I don’t think I’ve come across any examples of how pupils might use computational thinking in a broader context, or how it applies beyond the relatively narrow confines of computer science.

However, Anna Shipman, a software developer, currently working for the Government Digital Service, believes that a software development approach can and should be taken in other areas of life. In particular, she relates how it proved useful in the context of fixing a leaky roof.

Debugging is, hopefully, easier these days! Picture by James Vaughn http://www.flickr.com/photos/x-ray_delta_one/Although Anna doesn’t explicitly use the terms “computational thinking”, “algorithm” or “debug” in her blog post or video (see below), that is really what she is talking about. Use her blog post or video as a really good way to help your pupils understand what the correct approach to testing is, and why it is so valuable.

Here is the link to the blog post: Roof bug-fixing.

Here is the video:

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(c) Terry Freedman