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Computational Thinking for Kids | Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science

Computational Thinking for Kids | Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Before you click over to Amazon to buy your little drool monster a book on Web design, IMACS can offer you a few examples of how to introduce computational thinking to children through easy activities that are familiar to you, even if you think you’re computationally challenged.

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Jacqueline Taylor-Adams's curator insight, April 19, 2013 1:07 PM

In urban communities the "Digital Divide" is not as big as the "Fear Factor." Often times, their are families who subliminally believe negative messaging that may have come from family and/or mass media. Also, I can remember as a working adult when the University of Pennsylvania switched from a paper system to computer system! Many of us adults over age ** have not always had technology. Too many of these adults who are parenting children born with "computer brains" feel that they can not learn "all this technology stuff."


So, I encourage you to not only read this great article, but look at it as a tool for anyone of any age who may think they are not "computational." Don't forget to share your feedback and comments. Now, Go Forth and Learn!



Jacqueline Taylor-Adams

Chairperson / CMO

http://facebook.com/UrbanTechFair

Jacqueline Taylor-Adams's curator insight, April 19, 2013 1:11 PM

In urban communities the "Digital Divide" is not as big as the "Fear Factor." Often times, their are families who subliminally believe negative messaging that may have come from family and/or mass media. Also, I can remember as a working adult when the University of Pennsylvania switched from a paper system to computer system! Many of us adults over age ** have not always had technology. Too many of these adults who are parenting children born with "computer brains" feel that they can not learn "all this technology stuff."


So, I encourage you to not only read this great article, but look at it as a tool for anyone of any age who may think they are not "computational." Don't forget to share your feedback and comments.Now, Go Forth and Learn!



Jacqueline Taylor-Adams

Chairperson / CMO

http://facebook.com/UrbanTechFair

Computational Tinkering
The impact of computational thinking on our view of the world
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HyperStudio - The Digital Humanities Laboratory at MIT

HyperStudio - The Digital Humanities Laboratory at MIT | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

.Located at an intersection of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciencesand the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT, HyperStudio is at once a group of scholars and developers, a laboratory, and an idea: to bring cutting edge digital technology to the humanities. HyperStudio works with innovative educators at MIT to integrate technology into their research and teaching with original content and media delivery platforms, or to imagine new, dynamic ways to innovate humanities learning with contemporary tools in tech. In addition to the project-based approach that is meant to conceptualize, support, produce, and otherwise shepherd digital humanities ideas brought to them for development by other members of the MIT community, HyperStudio continually works on in-house projects that offer knowledge, services, and tools for public consumption, increasing awareness in the new ways modern humanities scholars can interrogate their fields.



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Computer programming for Finnish schoolchildren

Computer programming for Finnish schoolchildren | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Starting this autumn, Finnish children will start learning computer programming from their very first year in school. Under the new curriculum, programming will not be taught as a separate subject in elementary schools, but will be integrated with other subjects such as math lessons.While all children will be taught coding, not all will become professional coders. According to Mika Ruikka, the intention is not to prepare children to enter the field.

"However, in almost all professions today, computer technologies are needed and so it is useful to know what the principles involved are. Programming also teaches logical thinking which helps a lot, for example with math," he points out. "We can't say for sure what all the skills are that these pupils will need in the future. But, logical thinking is required in more than just programming."


Via Suvi Salo, Dan Kirsch
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Should students learn coding? Students, schools disagree | eSchool News | eSchool News

Should students learn coding? Students, schools disagree | eSchool News | eSchool News | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Parents are eager for their children to learn coding skills, but their message hasn't yet hit the in-box of school administrators.That’s the finding of a new Gallup study commissioned by Google that spotlights a potentially perilous economic disconnect as tech companies struggle to enlarge their engineering talent pools.


Among key and contrasting findings are the facts while 90 percent of parents see computer science, or CS, as “a good use of school resources” (and 66 percent say CS should be required learning alongside other core classes), fewer than 8 percent of administrators believe parent demand is high. They also cite a lack of trained teachers as a top barrier to offering CS courses. Three quarters of principals report no CS programs in their school.

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Big data analysis of state of the union remarks changes view of American History

Big data analysis of state of the union remarks changes view of American History | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
No historical record may capture the nation's changing political consciousness better than the president's State of the Union address, delivered each year except one since 1790.


Now, a computer analysis of this unique archive puts the start of the modern era at America's entry into World War I, challenging histories placing it after Reconstruction, the New Deal or World War II. A team of researchers at Columbia University and University of Paris published their results this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Though discussion of industry, finance and foreign policy dominate the record year after year, the study shows that modern political thought, defined by nation building, the regulation of business and the financing of public infrastructure, emerges with a sharp line after WWI.


David Blei, a statistician and computer scientist at Columbia's Data Science Institute who was not involved in the research, says the study pushes the boundaries for statistical machine learning of language.



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Experts call on computer coding to be taught to children in schools

Experts call on computer coding to be taught to children in schools | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
With evidence suggesting Australia's computer literacy is lagging behind other countries, business leaders have called on the Government to introduce coding into schools.
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Interesting part of this video is the recording of the kids working on designing and creating solutions to problems, talking about their ideas, and having fun in the process. 

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Machine Learning And Human Bias: An Uneasy Pair

Machine Learning And Human Bias: An Uneasy Pair | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
“We’re watching you.” This was the warning that the Chicago Police Department gave to more than 400 people on its “Heat List.”

The list, an attempt to identify the people most likely to commit violent crime in the city, was created with a predictive algorithm that focused on factors including, per the Chicago Tribune, “his or her acquaintances and their arrest histories – and whether any of those associates have been shot in the past.”

Algorithms like this obviously raise some uncomfortable questions. Who is on this list and why? Does it take race, gender, education and other personal factors into account? When the prison population of America is overwhelmingly Black and Latino males, would an algorithm based on relationships disproportionately target young men of color?


Transparency in the inputs to such algorithms and how their outputs are used is likely to be an important component of such efforts. Ethical considerations like these have recently been recognized as important problems by the academic community: new courses are being created and meetings like FAT-ML are providing venues for papers and discussions on the topic.

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Disney Research » Internet of Toys

Disney Research » Internet of Toys | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

The emerging Internet of Things (IoT) will provide Internet connectivity to a broad variety of objects, such as industrial sensors, home appliances, and consumer electronics including toys. A new standardized IoT protocol software for wireless connectivity will enable toys to interoperate with other toys and smart objects around them. The IoT software will enable toys to be accessed, monitored, and acted on remotely. Our project CALIPSO (http://www.ict-calipso.eu) is partially funded by the research program of the European Commission. As part of this three-year project, Disney Research works together with several industry and academic partners to create an innovative solution for wireless IoT systems. The new CALIPSO communication protocol software enables toys to discover other objects, build mobile ad hoc networks, and communicate in a very energy-efficient way to maximize their battery lifetime. We envision several Disney-related scenarios in which the software will help creating innovative toy play patterns and experience designs.

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How Uber Hides Behind Its Algorithm

How Uber Hides Behind Its Algorithm | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

What the ride-hailing experience shows is the extent to which the behavior of these artificial intelligence systems can diverge significantly from the trappings they adopt. Similar mirages are cast elsewhere throughout the “sharing economy” and even in the design of our social platforms. They downplay the responsibility of the platform designer, masking the more active role these technologies play in the sectors they exist in.



As the uses of artificial intelligence continue to broaden, society will increasingly confront questions around the power these technologies can and should have. As we move toward regulation, we need to question the narratives offered by companies and make sure that policy reflects reality.

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Using Algorithms to Determine Character

Using Algorithms to Determine Character | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
A new generation of companies is applying mathematical models to determine if you will pay back a loan or stay in a job. Do they judge you more fairly than people do?


Computers aren't just doing hard math probles and showing us cat videos. Increasingly, they judge our character.

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Kids can't use computers... and this is why it should worry you

Kids can't use computers... and this is why it should worry you | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

The truth is, kids can't use general purpose computers, and neither can most of the adults I know. There's a narrow range of individuals whom, at school, I consider technically savvy. These are roughly the thirty to fifty year-olds that have owned a computer for much of their adult lives. There are, of course, exceptions amongst the staff and students. There are always one or two kids in every cohort that have already picked up programming or web development or can strip a computer down to the bare bones, replace a motherboard, and reinstall an operating system. There are usually a couple of tech-savvy teachers outside the age range I've stated, often from the Maths and Science departments who are only ever defeated by their school laptops because they don't have administrator privileges, but these individuals are rare.

I suppose before I go on I should really define what I believe 'can't use a computer' means. Being a network manager as well as a teacher means I am often the first port of call when a teacher or student is having issues with computers and associated devices. As my lead technician likes to state, 'the problem is usually the interface between the chair and the keyboard.'


Tomorrow's politicians, civil servants, police officers, teachers, journalists and CEOs are being created today. These people don't know how to use computers, yet they are going to be creating laws regarding computers, enforcing laws regarding computers, educating the youth about computers, reporting in the media about computers and lobbying politicians about computers. Do you thinks this is an acceptable state of affairs?

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Crushing the coding stereotypes

Crushing the coding stereotypes | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Coding is not a niche skill. It is the universal language through which humans instruct technology on how to behave.


Add coding to physical computing and design and a whole new world opens up for students at all levels. 


And if you think this sounds too advanced for primary school, then you haven't seen what teachers and students are already doing. 


From creating automated bins to ward off pesky cockatoos, to building their own Vivid light displays that react to music, young students are often the most creative. 


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Is a Cambrian Explosion Coming for Robotics?

Is a Cambrian Explosion Coming for Robotics? | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

When the growth of robot capabilities begins in earnest, it will likely be explosive.


About half a billion years ago, life on earth experienced a short period of very rapid diversification called the “Cambrian Explosion.” Many theories have been proposed for the cause of the Cambrian Explosion, with one of the most provocative being the evolution of vision, which allowed animals to dramatically increase their ability to hunt and find mates (for discussion, seeParker 2003). Today, technological developments on several fronts are fomenting a similar explosion in the diversification and applicability of robotics. Many of the base hardware technologies on which robots depend—particularly computing, data storage, and communications—have been improving at exponential growth rates. Two newly blossoming technologies—“Cloud Robotics” and “Deep Learning”—could leverage these base technologies in a virtuous cycle of explosive growth. 

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Robots Reading Vogue : Topic Modeling

Computer-generated topics use statistical methods to suggest themes that emerge from term coöccurence — how often certain words appear close to one another.


The topics on this page were generated by a computer program which automatically “read” all of the articles ever published in Vogue, and grouped together those words which were clustered more frequently than a normal distribution would predict.


Click on a the timeline displayed in each topic to see the highest-saturated articles for that year

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Coding as part of school curriculum a matter of time and resources - The Australian

Coding as part of school curriculum a matter of time and resources - The Australian | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
The push to teach coding and computational thinking in schools is starting to attract widespread support, to the point where it’s only a matter of time before these subjects are introduced.

While some states have already made plans to introduce a digital technology course option into the curriculum, there’s a need to ensure that sufficient resources are in place to help teachers make the transition.


“Some schools have been selectively teaching coding for years and most teachers already incorporate some aspects of computational thinking and problem-solving in their lesson program so it shouldn’t be too hard to fill in the gaps,” she said. However, some of her peers aren’t so confident. A study by Macquarie University of 144 teachers late last year found that more than half (79) had never heard of computational thinking and most had very little idea of what it involved.

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Facts & Myths about Computational Thinking in Classrooms

Facts & Myths about Computational Thinking in Classrooms | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Whenever I speak to teachers about computational thinking it seems to place a layer of tension and confusion upon their shoulders, as most have preconceptions about this new ‘imposition placed upon them’.

Via Yashy Tohsaku
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A New Model for Coding in Schools

A New Model for Coding in Schools | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Computational thinking is typically associated with coding and computer programming, but it’s also more than that, involving “solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior,” according to Carnegie Mellon University.

These are important skills in a technology-driven world, whether you want to become a programmer or not. Many schools around the country offer after-school programs or electives for students interested in computational thinking. In South Fayette, a suburban and rural district of 2,700 students near Pittsburgh, it’s woven into the district culture, as well as the core curriculum at every grade level.

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Computational Thinking is the Star of The Science Behind Pixar

Computational Thinking is the Star of The Science Behind Pixar | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

The exhibition brings the Pixar production pipeline to life—from storyboard and concept art all the way to a final rendered frame. Throughout the exhibition, visitors can engage in hands-on, screen-based, and physical activities that let them explore the computational thinking skills integral to the Pixar process. Visitors can explore the creativity and artistry of Pixar filmmakers, and learn how computers are used as a filmmaking tool. In this exhibition, students and adults will learn about the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills needed in the 21st century workforce.


The Museum has been working in collaboration with Pixar on this exhibition for five years. The opportunity to collaborate with the artists and computer scientists at Pixar has been a great experience for our institution. What made the collaboration work so well is the fact that Pixar and the Museum of Science share a similar culture: We both value the roles interdisciplinary teams and iterative design play in the creative process.


Our initial plans called for a 5,000-square-foot exhibition. But that wasn’t big enough. We needed a bigger platform to show how computational thinking must become an essential part of the way schoolchildren learn how to breakdown complex problems into smaller steps, how to handle data, and how to test the design of their solutions.


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Is learning computer science linked to improved learning in other subjects?

Is learning computer science linked to improved learning in other subjects? | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Many passionate computer science educators believe computational thinking, problem solving, persistence and analysis learned in computer science helps students do better in other courses, especially math.


There’s a clear correlation

According to College Board data, students who take the AP Computer Science exam earn higher AP Calculus and Statistics scores relative to peers who previously performed at a similar level in math. 

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Chris Carter's curator insight, August 4, 12:20 AM

The evidence is building ...

Mark E. Deschaine, PhD's curator insight, August 4, 7:19 AM

The evidence is building ...

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How to get more girls into high tech | eSchool News | eSchool News

Girls are less likely than boys to play video and computer games, so are less familiar with computers.


The top three things educators can do to bring more young women into technology, said Alice Steinglass, vice president of products, engineering and marketing for code.org, are to change their perception of careers in computers, encourage positive reinforcement by family and friends, and encourage them to participate in computer classes and related extracurricular activities.


“There is a false impression that computer science is nerdy, it’s boring, and it’s something you do by yourself in a dark closet,” Steinglass said. “That is far from the truth.”

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Creativity via Big Data: from big data to computational thinking to creative problem-solving (innovation)

Creativity via Big Data: from big data to computational thinking to creative problem-solving (innovation) | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Einstein published his ideas and became a pivotal element in shifting the way we think about physics - from the Newtonian model to the Quantum - in turn this changed the way we think about the world and allowed us to develop new ways of engaging with the world.

We are at a similar juncture.  The development of computational technologies allows us to think about astronomical volumes of data and to make meaning of that data.

The mindshift that occurs is that “the machine is our friend”.  The computer, like all machines, extends our capabilities.  As a consequence the types of thinking now required in industry are those that get away from thinking like a computer and shift towards creative engagement with possibilities.  Logical thinking is still necessary but it starts to be driven by imagination.

Computational thinking and data science change the way we think about defining and solving problems.


Via Kim Flintoff
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Kim Flintoff's curator insight, July 30, 4:34 AM

Presented today at the Financial, Administrative and Professional Services Training Council Industry Currency Day.

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As Tech Booms, Workers Turn to Coding for Career Change

As Tech Booms, Workers Turn to Coding for Career Change | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Schools that offer accelerated training in digital skills are drawing more and more “career changers,” and graduates can make six-figure base salaries.


Internet giants like Google and Facebook have long fought over the top software engineers in the country, and that continues. But now, companies in most every industry, either by necessity or to follow the pack, are pursuing some sort of digital game plan - creating lucrative opportunities for computing-minded newcomers who want to reboot their lives.

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14 Girls Explain Why Women Should Learn How To Code

14 Girls Explain Why Women Should Learn How To Code | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
This summer, over 1,000 girls around the country are participating in a free summer program that gives them intensive instruction in computer science and mentorship from top female technology executives.
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Will Teaching New Computer Science Principles Level the Playing Field? (EdSurge News)

Will Teaching New Computer Science Principles Level the Playing Field? (EdSurge News) | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

It’s no secret that computer science (CS) courses are not a priority in many high schools. Across the nation, many schools get away with packaging courses that teach kids to make Powerpoints, spreadsheets and other rudimentary work as ‘computer science.’But when authentic CS is offered, it’s often in the form of the notoriously difficult and intimidating Advanced Placement courses, whose culminating test only a tiny fraction of students around the nation take and pass.


Realizing the dearth of access to computer science offerings in high school, the National Science Foundation, together with the College Board, convened a group of teachers and academics to craft a new course called “AP Computer Science Principles.” The primary goal of this new course, to be offered in fall 2016, is to increase student access to computer science, computing and STEM through a more multidisciplinary approach than the current AP course.

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