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Edtech Solutions
Network Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
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Hiding in Plain Sight — Finding Computational Thinking Opportunities in Children's Books

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Sunday, November 29, 11:00 am–12:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Gail Lovely  
As educators of children ages 3 to 7, you know that great children’s books can create opportunities for learning beyond the stories they share. Discover powerful opportunities to introduce, practice and reinforce computational thinking that are hiding in plain sight in children’s books.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Chrome Browser suggested
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: PK-2
Subject area: Language arts, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The early learning classroom is a very busy place, be it full of little learners in the classroom or at a distance. Curriculum requirements have been pushed down and the pressure of time is intense. The mention of adding ONE MORE THING is too much… and rightfully so. This session will provide insight, strategies, methodologies and examples of the integration of Computational Thinking (CT) in the early learning classroom, specifically in the use of picture books and read-alouds as a place to incorporate CT with even the littlest learners.
Sequencing, patterns, problem solving, breaking down tasks into smaller steps, generalizing… all are important parts of CT. These are also important components of literacy. This relationship between picture books, story time and Computational Thinking will become easier to see as ideas, models and examples are shared and participants can participate in activities which model or mimic those we would do with little learners. Some ideas will be no-tech, while others could include using digital cameras, audio recordings (like Flipgrid), websites (like Padlet) or simple coding activities with robots (which can be adapted to most any kind of robot.)

The session will be a success if participants leave feeling more confident about integrating computational thinking into their classrooms or settings and if they implement an idea into their work in the future.

Supporting research

Bers, M. (2017) Coding as a Playground: Programming and Computational Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom. Routledge.
Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York: Basicbooks.
Resnick, M., & Robinson, K. (2018). Lifelong kindergarten: Cultivating creativity through projects, passion, peers, and play. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

“Coding as Literacy Teaching Programming as a Literacy of the 21st Century.” Coding as Literacy, DevTech Research Group, Tufts University,

More [+]


Gail Lovely, Suddenly It Clicks!

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