About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3346-3353
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1722

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IN K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION SCHOOLS

H. Prieto-Sanz1, M. Alba2, F. Pla1

1Universitat d'Andorra (ANDORRA)
2Albert Vives School (SPAIN)
In 1979, Seymour Papert first talked about the possibility of children using computers as instruments for learning. These ideas were the embryo of what today is known as Computational Thinking (CT). It was not until 2006, though, that Jeanette Wing recovered the concept and put the eye of the scientific community on it. Proof of it has been the recent increase in the number of publications focused on this subject. It makes total sense if we think about the Information Technology centered world in which we live in today. Undoubtedly, our lives revolve around technology and if we want to continue moving forward, a good knowledge and proficiency when using these technologies is a must. Furthermore, it leads to a change of our social role in this IT era. As an International Society of Technology in Education calls for, people have to move from being just consumers to being users to be able to shape and transform the future. It becomes essential, then, to focus specially on K-12 students and teachers working as a pre-service and in-service teacher training.

In order to move forward through this change of media literacy conception, both the University of Andorra (Andorra) and the Albert Vives School (La Seu d’Urgell, Lleida, Spain) share a common project about Computational Thinking. The University of Andorra offers an optional subject in their Bachelor in Education (10 students enrolled) and, at the same time, the same project has been implemented in a school with 423 children aged 3 to 12 years. In addition, one of the teachers is coordinating CT in the school and, at the same time, is sharing the same project with students at the university.

The purpose of this study is twofold:
1) to explore whether there are differences between school students and university students and,
2) what are the attitudes and beliefs related to CT in both groups.

When talking about data collection techniques, an interview was conducted with the teacher of both groups; two focus groups were used, one per group; and a survey was distributed to all students that took the CT course.

The obtained data reveals that there are significant differences between groups. Emotional factors, blockage when problem solving, data interpretation or different ways to ask for help in order to face the proposed challenges are only some examples where these differences are more predominant. On the other hand, the attitude from both groups has been very positive not only due to the importance of acquiring CT skills for their use in daily situations, but also because students are aware of the importance and possible applications of such skills in their future.

As future lines of research, collecting more evidences of the impact of Computational Thinking during the process of learning, and going deeper on some dimensions such as the relation between CT and critical thinking, collaborative work and the capability to resolve problems are thought to be essential.
@InProceedings{PRIETOSANZ2017COM,
author = {Prieto-Sanz, H. and Alba, M. and Pla, F.},
title = {COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IN K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION SCHOOLS},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1722},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1722},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3346-3353}}
TY - CONF
AU - H. Prieto-Sanz AU - M. Alba AU - F. Pla
TI - COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IN K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION SCHOOLS
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1722
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 3346
EP - 3353
ER -
H. Prieto-Sanz, M. Alba, F. Pla (2017) COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IN K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION SCHOOLS, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 3346-3353.
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