1. Want to be a Positive Parent? : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice

Computational Thinking

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by nayidulhan, Jan 31, 2023.

  1. nayidulhan

    nayidulhan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Female
    Whenever I explore any field, I get directed (implicitly at times) to Problem Solving and Computational Thinking. I have been convinced now that PS and CT are the skills/ know how that will be very useful to have. Unfortunately, right now, the schools in my area do not teach CT although they teach Computer Science, Coding, etc. What would be the best way to teach Computational Thinking to a preteen? Would enrolling for CT courses on platform like Coursera help? (The child is familiar with Scratch, HTML, etc.)
     
    Loading...

  2. nayidulhan

    nayidulhan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Female
  3. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,638
    Likes Received:
    30,545
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Female
    A good way to check out free courses is to join it yourself and take a look at the videos, syllabus, and the course's discussion forums.

    Very little recent activity in discussion forums. It is essentially a course in Scratch programming. Uses an older version of Scratch (2.0). The version 3.0 was a complete overhaul and has features like extensions that let Scratch interact with external devices.

    Case study topics include epidemiology and human trafficking.

    You may want to be a little cautious with online courses that are free or of nominal cost and require registration. For example, the discussion forums can have literally any one on there. A similar course on YouTube would be a better option. I personally would steer clear of courses on Coursera, Udemy and similar course portals for kids who are under 14.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2023
    nayidulhan likes this.
  4. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,638
    Likes Received:
    30,545
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Female
    How about good old math problems and puzzles? For math, you can try a series like Singapore Math, Russian School of Math or similar ones.

    For puzzles that use computational thinking, my kids liked doing these Mind Bender puzzles long ago, and I just now printed out a few to do myself for fun. : ) If you decide to buy them, for cost effectiveness, maybe the e-book version will be better. Share the book and the cost with a friend but not any friend. :tonguewink:

    Here are some samples of the puzzles:
    Grades1and2.png Grades3Thru6.png Grades3to6Adv.png Grades7Thru12.png
     
    nayidulhan likes this.
  5. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,638
    Likes Received:
    30,545
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Female
    Tagging our best resource person on the topic, HR @hrastro.
     
    nayidulhan and hrastro like this.
  6. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    3,586
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    @Rihana thanx for the tag!

    @nayidulhan
    You said the child is a preteen (I'm assuming age 10-12), and knows scratch, html etc. Wordpress (a tool to create websites) and scratch AI extensions could be the next levels...

    I will use "he and him" as it is not specified ... but it applies to any gender!

    You want the child to do "Problem solving and computational thinking"
    What exactly is Problem solving and Computational thinking?
    From the child's point of view -
    You want some action done, you define a set of rules/constraints and say this "problem can be solved" by applying some logical sequence of steps.
    The steps include some input validation, recursion loops, if & then statements and some output - which is where CT comes in...

    What I would suggest is -
    rather than take new courses - which might or might not be suitable - first use the existing knowledge to actually solve problems at his level.
    Give the child a set of problems in his particular area of interest -
    Say for instance - he likes online games and puzzles - let him create a few games that he enjoys in the real world !
    He could create an app on android or even a website - so many resources are available online
    Say - he likes photography - can he create a blog with his photographs.
    Or baking - he could set up a recipe website with his baking experiments

    From here, go to the next level of problem sets - e.g can he create a shopping list out of his recipes automatically ?
    Can he predict whether a person of certain age group would like his photographs ?
    Can he create the next higher level for the game or puzzle. Make it more complex

    You know your child the best - you could give him the problems that he would like to solve and enjoy solving - keep encouraging his skills !

    That said - I have great feedback from my students about this course - https://pravartak.org.in/out-of-box-thinking by IIT Madras

    Also, instead of going to coursera or udemy which is market run and which might not be suitable for a kid, I would suggest - go to open university websites like mit.edu (scratch is also from MIT), NPTEL, swayam etc - NPTEL and swayam host a number of courses from our IITs professors ...

    Also, please do check some advanced mathematics courses if he is really good at PS and CT, he has to excel at maths & logic - do ensure his numerical skills, pattern recognition skills, algebra and statistics is well developed
     
    nayidulhan, Thyagarajan and Rihana like this.
  7. nayidulhan

    nayidulhan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Female
    @Rihana, thanks a lot for your help. :) Thanks specifically for your words of caution about online courses and for the pointers on Singapore Math et al. I am not familiar with these. I will explore them soon.

    Thanks very much for leading me to Mind Bender Puzzles link. I live in India now and so will have to explore the possibility of procuring them here. :)

    Thanks also for paging @hrastro, the expert here. :)
     
    Thyagarajan and Rihana like this.
  8. nayidulhan

    nayidulhan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Female
    Thanks a lot, @hrastro for the detailed and well-iterated reply. It is not only giving me a sense of direction but also a sense of purpose. :)

    My daughter is 12 years old. I will set her on Wordpress and Scratch AI. I liked how you made that smart and logical virtual flowchart for PS and CT. :)

    I have heard about the OOBT course you mentioned. I will ask my child to explore it in the upcoming summer break. You said your students recommend this course. So, if you don't mind, may I ask if you teach Math/Logic?

    Could you please guide me how exactly this can be done?
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  9. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    3,586
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Yes, I do teach Maths and logic - I teach students who on one end are scared of maths and at the other end of the spectrum there are students who want to explore maths higher than their school levels!

    But currently I am engaged in a couple of projects related to the NEP that will take a few years to implement, so I dont have the bandwidth to conduct regular classes...

    Coming to your daughter - Do start off on Wordpress and Scratch AI ...

    At 12, she would be able to easily do algebra, simple equations - but can she apply her algebra skills to answer an advance compound interest or geometry question? She knows the rules of different quadrilaterals, but can she figure out how to approach a circle with a quadrilateral inside?

    Have a look at SAT entrance question papers, MBA CAT question papers and try some of the 1st level sums...

    This cannot be done by her alone, or even with your guidance - you might want to find a retired teacher or a college student who might want extra cash - someone needs to be with her for her to bounce of ideas when they get stuck and work on the problems - have a separate timetable for the extra maths - the idea is not to do school maths, but to challenge yourself ...

    The idea is NOT to learn higher maths at 12, but to APPLY the concepts that she knows already to different kinds of problems...

    1) You could look at some Math textbooks and workbooks from other countries - say - if you're in US, look at Indian textbooks, if you're in India, look at Singapore or Australia textbooks!
    2) for CBSE, you can download the textbooks and question papers freely from cbse nic website or mycbseguide
    3) Look for the CBSE exemplar textbooks for your daughter's class - they have exactly the same lessons as CBSE but 100s of higher order thinking problems
    4) There are advance maths books by Trishna Pearson for foundational IIT - buy one level lower than your daughter's class first and then approach her class
    5) Look at some of the co-schooling programs and summer camps by Agastya Gurukulam. They teach you to approach Maths from an integrated point of view.
    6) Do check out Raising a mathematician foundation - they have some very good programs, summer camps and online courses.

    I know several people at both these places and though classes are online, I find the teachers really genuine and the students really enjoy and benefit from the programs.

    Keep smiling
    HR
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2023
    Thyagarajan and nayidulhan like this.
  10. nayidulhan

    nayidulhan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Female
    @hrastro, if it was possible to like your post a 1000 times then I would have done just that. :) So...so kind of you to take time out and write such a detailed reply. :) Your students must be feeling lucky to have you as the mentor and so am I feeling now. :)

    At 12, she would be able to easily do algebra, simple equations - but can she apply her algebra skills to answer an advance compound interest or geometry question? She knows the rules of different quadrilaterals, but can she figure out how to approach a circle with a quadrilateral inside?
    Have a look at SAT entrance question papers, MBA CAT question papers and try some of the 1st level sums...

    What you said about applying her learning till date to solve Higher Order Problems resonates perfectly. :) So in order to test her application skills of the Math concepts learnt, you recommend that she tries solving SAT and CAT entrance papers, right? (I found the past papers here:
    Downloadable Full-Length SAT Practice Tests – SAT Suite
    https://www.shiksha.com/mba/cat-exam-question-papers )

    Thanks a lot for your recommendation on books. I don't really know how to procure books from other countries like Singapore and Australia. Till I figure that out, I would like to start Math practice for her with CBSE Exemplar books and then follow up with Trishna Pearson IIT Foundation books. Would that be the right trajectory?

    @hrastro, if you don't mind, may I ask you for your opinion on AMTI Math books, R D Sharma ICSE/CBSE Math practice books and R S Aggarwal Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning books for practice?

    I will surely explore Agastya Gurukulam & Raising a Mathematician Foundation.
    Thanks again for all the help. May your tribe increase. :)
     
    hrastro and Thyagarajan like this.

Share This Page