It is important to identify how computational thinking fits into your existing overarching programs and initiatives.
Avoid “initiative fatigue” by connecting your pathway to existing bodies of work. For example:
- Has your district constructed a portrait of a graduate? How does computational thinking fit within that vision?
- Are your science teachers integrating Next Generation Science? How is computational thinking already a part of that work?
- Have you built programming around maker learning or design thinking that your teachers already understand and support?
Consider how other leading programs have framed computing around a distinct set of competencies.
- K-12 CS Framework
- Next Generation Science Standards
- Computer Science Teachers Association Standards
- ISTE Standards for CS
Has your own state developed computer science standards? Stay up to speed on what’s happening in your state and around the country as your district develops its own set of K-12 competencies.
It is important to build on past successes and layer your computational thinking pathway strategically on programs that already exist. Take stock of the existing factors that can help shape your pathway.
- Identify the tools, themes, and competencies that already exist in your district as the key alignment for your pathway. Focusing on these three areas can help your district to…
- Build on experiences that students and teachers already have with familiar tools (e.g., Scratch, Code.org, Project Lead the Way, etc.)
- Integrate computational thinking into existing themes that are valued by the community (e.g., maker learning, engineering design process, STEAM, digital literacy, etc.)
- Identify the underlying competencies that you are already teaching, even as the tools and themes may change (e.g., algorithms, data, simulations, etc)