Defining Computational Thinking, Take 1

Computational Thinking, Education, MSU MAET

I first came across the idea of Computational Thinking (CT) about a year ago when browsing edX courses. The idea intrigued me enough to seek further information and eventually propose a computational thinking program (with limited success) through my work at art and science museums. My understanding of CT has thus been influenced by my readings, but I hope to greatly develop these thoughts throughout the course.

If I were to try to put aside prior information I’ve come across, I would most likely think of CT as the skills that a computer programmer uses in order to provide instructions to a computer. As someone who worked in software for several years, I understand the way of thinking that emerges when working with code everyday. You start to create mental models of the data you start with, how that information can be stored and manipulated, and consider how to achieve the final result you are looking for with a minimum of errors. As programs grow larger, you begin to think about how to encapsulate the data in ways that is logical and easily understood, but still efficient enough for a fast runtime.