2c: Engage students in local & global interdisciplinary units

Coach teachers in and model engagement of students in local and global interdisciplinary units in which technology helps students assume professional roles, research real-world problems, collaborate with others, and produce products that are meaningful and useful to a wide audience

Computational Thinking (CT) is a problem-solving process that supports students in being leaders when solving local and global topics.  The critical and logical thinking that goes into CT, supports students as they take on the role of real-world problem solving, collaborating with others (both locally and globally) and expand their ideas and solutions beyond the classroom. 

The steps of CT are decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithmic thinking.  Each systematic step supports problem-solving a variety of small and large problems or innovative idea implementation plans that students may come up with.  CT focuses on how students can create and be engaged in meaningful and useful projects that go far beyond the walls of the classroom but can be done within a classroom.   

I talk more about CT and the application in everyday life for educators and students in my blog post, Computational Thinking: Chapped lips and Micro-Credentials.

In addition to using CT as a starting point for connecting to the real world around them, students can also broaden their horizons as global community citizens by participating in programs such as Empatico.  I was able to connect with an educator across the country to show students how to begin collaborating with students outside their immediate community and extend ideas beyond borders. You can read about my experience using Empatico below with my 2nd grade class.