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Edtech Solutions
Network Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Computational Thinking! Resources for Teachers and Students

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Wednesday, December 2, 3:00–4:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Dr. Kelly Mills  
Maria Romero  

Explore teacher resources and student assignments that align to computational thinking practices — working with data, creating algorithms and understanding systems. See hands-on illustrative examples of activities that integrate each CT practice. Learn how to adapt resources for your students.

Audience: Professional developers, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Participants will be able to fully participate in this session without acquiring accounts, software or other materials in advance.
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Integrating computational thinking (CT) into K-12 education is essential for all students to develop interest, foundational understanding and preparation for careers that have a growing need for computational literacies. Policy documents and school districts are increasingly requiring teachers to integrate CT in their classrooms (CSE & NSTC, 2018; NGSS Lead States, 2013), but to realize this, teachers need professional support (Barr & Stephenson, 2011; Yadav et al., 2017). In recent years, the field has paid increasing attention to designing and implementing learning experiences for pre-service and in-service teachers that encourage the integration of CT practices (Bower et al., 2017; Jaipal-Jamani & Angeli, 2017; Ketelhut et al., 2019; Mouza et al., 2017; Yadav et al., 2014). This session provides resources and experiences for teachers to integrate CT in authentic, equitable and sustainable ways.

Digital Promise is working with teachers, administrators and district leaders from school districts across the United States to integrate computational thinking in K-12 classrooms. As part of that work, we have conducted ongoing professional development with over eighty teachers from five school districts during the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years. We have developed a set of teacher resources and student assignments that align to CT practices. The resources were developed based on challenges teachers expressed, co-designed with teachers, and refined based on teacher feedback. Overall, teachers have expressed that the resources are helpful in both their learning about computational thinking, and teaching computational thinking in their classroom.

In this poster session, participants will be introduced to the key computational thinking practices (working with data, creating algorithms and understanding systems). We will then highlight teacher resources (look fors, probing questions, lesson plans, related tools) and student assignments that align to each CT practice. We will provide hands-on illustrative examples of lessons that integrate each CT practice. For example, participants will collect and analyze data, build algorithms and debug them and use and create models. Participants will be encouraged to engage in conversation about how to adapt and integrate the resources for their own classroom/school/district.


Review computational thinking for next generation science toolkit ... a collection of resources designed to support teachers to integrate computational thinking into middle school science and beyond!

Supporting research

Barr, V., & Stephenson, C. (2011). Bringing computational thinking to K-12: what is Involved and what is the role of the computer science education community? ACM Inroads, 2(1), 48–54.

Bower, M., Wood, L. N., Lai, J. W. M., Howe, C., & Lister, R. (2017). Improving the computational thinking pedagogical capabilities of school teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(3), 53–72.

Committee on STEM Education & National Science and Technology Council. (2018). Charting a Course for Success:
America’s Strategy for STEM Education.

Jaipal-Jamani, K., & Angeli, C. (2017). Effect of Robotics on Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Self-Efficacy, Science Learning, and Computational Thinking. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 26(2), 175–192.

Ketelhut, D., J., Mills, K., Hestness, E., Plane, J., McGinnis, R. (2019). Teacher Change Following a Professional Development Experience in Integrating Computational Thinking into Elementary Science. Journal of Science Education and Technology. Accepted.

Mouza, C., Yang, H., Pan, Y.-C., Yilmaz Ozden, S., & Pollock, L. (2017). Resetting educational technology coursework for pre-service teachers: A computational thinking approach to the development of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 33(3), 61–76.

NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Achieve, Inc. on Behalf of the Twenty-Six States and Partners That Collaborated on the NGSS, (November), 1–103.

Yadav, A., Mayfield, C., Zhou, N., Hambrusch, S., & Korb, J. T. (2014). Computational Thinking in Elementary and Secondary Teacher Education. ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 14(1), 1–16.

Yadav, A., Gretter, S., Hambrusch, S., & Sands, P. (2017). Expanding computer science education in schools: understanding teacher experiences and challenges. Computer Science Education, 26(4), 235–254.

More [+]


Dr. Kelly Mills, Digital Promise Global
Maria Romero, Digital Promise

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