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Letters to the Editor

Rethinking Computational Thinking


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How important are skills in computational thinking for computing app constructors and for computing users in general? If we can teach our children early on to smile, talk, write, read, and count through frequent and repetitive use of patterns in well-chosen examples, is it also possible for us, assuming we have the skills, to teach our children to construct computing applications? Do we need to first teach them anything about computational thinking before we look to teach how to construct computing apps? If not, how important will computational skills be for us all, as Jeannette Wing suggests in her blog@cacm "Computational Thinking, 10 Years Later" (Mar. 2016 and reprinted on p. 10) and Viewpoint column "Computational Thinking" (Mar. 2006)?

Many competent and successful computing app constructors and users never hear a word about computational thinking but still manage to acquire sufficient construction and user skills through frequent and repetitive use of patterns in well-chosen examples. Can computing app constructors learn their skills from frequent and repetitive use of the patterns in well-chosen examples without computational thinking? Current results, as reflected in app stores, seem to show they can.


 

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