Computational Thinking Concepts for Grade School

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John F. Sanford
Jaideep T. Naidu

Keywords

Computational Thinking, Analytical Solutions, Spreadsheet Modeling, Grade Schools

Abstract

Early education has classically introduced reading, writing, and mathematics. Recent literature discusses the importance of adding “computational thinking” as a core ability that every child must learn. The goal is to develop students by making them equally comfortable with computational thinking as they are with other core areas of early education. Computational thinking does not come naturally and requires training and guidance. This paper argues for the inclusion of computational thinking in tandem with mathematics. As an example, the paper demonstrates spreadsheet applications that can be utilized concurrently with early mathematical concepts. It demonstrates that at this time, spreadsheets are the best medium for inculcating computational thinking but recognizes that advances in technology may favor other digital approaches in time.

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