Computational Thinking is a major focus in the Australian curriculum of Digital Technologies learning. But, what does it mean, and why is it important for children to develop this skill?

What is Computational Thinking?

Computational thinking is a problem-solving method that is applied to create solutions that can be implemented using digital technologies. It involves integrating strategies, such as organising data logically, breaking down problems into parts, interpreting patterns and models and designing and implementing algorithms. – Australian Curriculum

Related Reading: Do you know the Australian curriculum for Digital Technologies?

It is a problem solving process where the goal is to produce a systematic solution to a problem. The process involves analysing a problem and coming up with a solution that consists of a sequence of defined steps that need to be undertaken to solve the problem, and to determine what information or data is needed to solve the problem.

It’s a structured approach to problem solving building on problem solving skills already in play.

We use computational thinking skills every day without realising it. For example, the simple task of getting ready to go out, there are a number of defined steps you take to ensure you are ready to go out, and arrive at your destination on time and with ease.

Consider the following:

We use problem solving skills every day. So when getting ready to go out, you would identify what you need to wear for the day by checking the weather conditions. Depending on what the weather would be like  you would then analyse what you should wear to suit the weather conditions as well as the dress attire to suit the reason for going out. Is the going out a social reason or is it to a business meeting? Don’t forget, you also need to manage your time appropriately to avoid running late.

This process consisted of gathering data to then logically thinking the sequence of steps required to eventually achieve the goal of getting ready to go out on time and dressed appropriately to suit the weather and the dress code.

Related Reading: Is your child equipped with Computational Thinking – The Skill of the 21st Century?

Computational thinking is a disciplined problem solving skill – a skill that is now a big feature of the school curriculum in Australia.