Computational Thinking is a process in understanding, breaking down, and solving problems. Computational Thinkers (CT) imbeds this powerful problem-solving technique across all offered courses.
Students in our courses don’t only learn concepts such as algorithm design and pattern recognition. They learn self-discipline, teamwork, and responsibility through our Blended Learning approach to instruction.
What is Blended Learning?
In traditional classrooms, a teacher gives a lesson, struggles to gain quality one-on-one time with students, and must balance instructional time while managing the class’ behavior, attention, and discipline. At best, most teachers have one or two teacher assistants (TA), but, these TAs only support learning. They do not facilitate it.
“Blended Learning is any formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace…the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.”
Blended Learning is being applied across higher-learning institutes. The technique combines the value (and necessity) of technology in students lives with the richness of peer-to-peer and teacher-to-pupil instruction.
In CT courses, such as our Computational Thinking course (pictured throughout this article), students are introduced to a new concept as a class. Then, the students and class time are divided into three sections. For 10-15 minutes, a group of students circulates through a planned lesson consisting of 1) Independent Work, 2) Small Peer-to-Peer Work, and 3) Small instructor-led groups.
Teaching the whole student
Blended Learning is an effective way to communicate both abstract and skill-based concepts.
The flow and variety of classroom activities allow students to keep their attention engaged. An ideal combination of curriculum and instruction, Computational thinking lessons encourages student confidence in solving interdisciplinary problems and applying solutions. Blended Learning encourages individuality, collaboration, and active listening.
The sense of autonomy that derives from Blended Learning allows the student to recognize how they learn best. And, what scenarios/activities encourage them to explore and create new ideas.
Computational Thinkers mission is not to solely immerse the student’s in technology. It is engaging the whole student in all methods of knowledge and application.
Integrating Blended Learning with the fundamentals of computational thinking (abstraction, pattern recognition, decomposition, and algorithm design) is an innovative shift in the classrooms of our younger students; a shift that is necessary the future will rely on mental flexibility, complex problem solving, and effective communication from its future workers. The process of learning is multifaceted.
Our teaching should match and challenge students to participate in their own learning rather than just receive it.