Creative thinking is an integral component of human intelligence that can be practiced, encouraged and developed in any context (Miller et al., 2013). By integrating creative thinking with computational thinking, students use their creativity to develop their understanding of computational thinking. Computational thinking (CT) is our ability to tackle problems and come up with a suitable solution. It is our curiosity and creativity which drives our ability to solve problems and critically analyse the situations at hand (Wing, 2006).
Figure 1.1 demonstrates our CT skills through our ability to decipher each of the words and recognise familiar patterns. Hence, as educators it is our responsibility to build upon these skills and develop strategies to test new solutions through incorperating computing science into the classroom (Barr & Stephenson, 2011).
Non- computer based activity
My Robotic Friends is a great introductory activity which demonstrates their ability to use their CT skills through developing their own programming. Using a sheet of paper, students use arrows to control their “robotic” partner. This develops their understanding which can be further accentuated when more advanced, computer-based activities are included. Computing encourages the creation of new forms of expression, extending beyond the traditional form of human expression (Dede, Mishra & Voogt, 2013).
Students can program Ozobot to move, function, and creates mazes and challenges for the Ozbot to overcome through the use of colour codes. It inspires creativity as it encourages experimentation through developing their own patterns and paths whilst becoming familiar with the basic building blocks of coding. However, it isn’t accessible to all students in particular those in low SES communities who cannot afford such technologies.
Scratch can be implemented to create a more diverse and creative classroom. Student can design their own interactive projects through simple coding (Figure 1.2). It allows them to recognise problems can be solved in multiple ways which can be shown through a trial and error approach (Barr & Stephenson, 2011).
These technologies develop their cognitive capabilities and practical skills whilst encouraging students to build tools that have a significant impact on society, rather than remain as consumers of technology (Wing, 2006). However, it is important to have extensive knowledge of the technologies and their effectiveness to ensure they relate to the learning goals (Barr & Stephenson, 2011).
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.
Miller, L, Soh, L., Chiriacescu, V., Ingraham, E., Shell, D., Ramsay, S., & Hazley, M. (2013) Improving learning of computational thinking using creative thinking exercises in CS-1 computer science courses. Frontiers in Education Conference, 2013(October), 1426-1432.
Wing, J. M. (2006). Computational thinking. Communications of the ACM, 49(3), 33-35.
Dede, C., Mishra, P., & Voogt, J. (2013). Working Group 6: Advancing computational thinking in 21st century learning.International Summit on ICT in Education, 2013, 1-6.
Google Education (n.a). Finding Patterns in Spelling Errors and History. Retrieved 28 May, 2015 from, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_90nccOmCkoy8H34dOhSuweDsxbb3GTwCgTrIQ_-tU/edit