Blog #1

Teaching computer science — without touching a computer

I read an article that had to do with students learn and comprehending computer science without even using computers. The article covered and made clear the importance of allowing students to gain the knowledge associated with computer science without actually having to use the computer. Simple aspects, computers are responsible for can be demonstrated and shown through simple visuals and fun games. Some of these include computer sorting, and computer network routing information processes. A core feature important in the understanding of computer science is called computational thinking. One problems that has been found with traditional computer science classes that use computers, are the basic need for programing skills to develop an understanding. This is a problem if the goal is to teach young minds computer science concepts. The older students are the more complicated these tasks and activities can become, furthering and building upon the knowledge they have already attained. There are many people dedicated to develop techniques and ways for youth to understand these concepts. “Computer Science Unplugged” is an excellent program that seeks to work with youth on computer science education in a unique and “unplugged” fashion. In a world profoundly shaped by computers it is very important for people to have at least a general amount of knowledge on computer science. Even with the ever growing importance and reliance of computers in out society today, it will become even more critical to remain sharp minded and well educated. It should be a top priority to continue to increase the most powerful “computer” we own, our minds.

 

Q1: How will the issue help or hinder your teaching practice? Why?

I find this issue particularly interesting. I have never learned well on the computer and also have struggled with understanding computer concepts. I think this issue will become more and more important with the massive increases in technology we are experience today. I think it will be helpful to start computer science education at a young age, and that it could be done most effectively without a computer. It will be very helpful to have strong games, practices and activities that have already been established to help current and future teachers.

 

Q2: How will the issue help or hinder student learning?

From a current students perspective I find interactive and fun activities to be the most helpful when learning (even though at the college level it is impractical in most cases). It has also been my experience that young students are kinetic learners who respond very effectively to fun, active and interesting activities. I think it will help the students build up a strong basis for further intensive computer science education.

 

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