“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program… it teaches you how to think,” Steve Jobs.

The first line hear grabbed me. ML teachers, we teach the everybody in this country. We are know where to begin. We are the resource. We are the first hello.

The second line hooked me. I thought I knew how to think? Is thinking something I can be taught? Are there different ways of thinking and what different modality of thinking does coding teach? And how can this benefit my everybody-my language learners. Watch:

This mode of thinking has been hard to capture. It is now referred to as “Computational thinking,” but that may be a little off-putting because it seems like it could be “Thinking like a computer,” which… it is… but thinking like a computer is only a fraction of what computational thinking entails and what it can do for our students if taught and put in practice.

So what is computational thinking? How are these aspects similar to or just different enough to the language learning process that this can help my language learners? Look for posts that address each of these. What connections are you making with language instruction? Do you see overlap and opportunity yet?

This discussion will be informed by Jacob, Sharin & Nguyen, Ha & Tofel-Grehl, Colby & Richardson, Debra & Warschauer, Mark. (2018). Teaching Computational Thinking to English Learners.

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