Computational thinking is a skill that enables us to solve complex problems by breaking them down into smaller and simpler steps, finding patterns and similarities, abstracting away irrelevant details, and designing algorithms that can be executed by computers or humans. It is a skill that is essential for the 21st century, as technology becomes more pervasive and influential in every aspect of our lives. Computational thinking can also enhance our creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration skills,
as we learn to apply it to various domains and disciplines such as art, language arts, math, science, and social studies.

This book is aimed at teachers who have not yet made extensive use of tools to support the development of students’ computational thinking. The book aims to help teachers understand what computational thinking is, why it is important and how they can integrate it into the existing curricula. It is based on a literature review of the current research and best practice in computational thinking education, as well as on the experience and insights of the authors and partners of the CTApp project.
The book provides a number of practical tips and examples for teachers who want to integrate computational thinking into their classrooms, using educational technology tools as well as content-specific methods.

The book consists of seven chapters. The first chapter introduces the concept of computational thinking and its components: decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithm design. It also explains the benefits and challenges of teaching computational thinking and the role of educators in supporting it. Chapter Two focuses on teaching decomposition and Chapter Three on pattern recognition, the ability to break down a problem into smaller parts and find similarities between
them. They include strategies and exercises for teaching these skills across subjects and grade levels. The fourth chapter covers teaching abstraction and the fifth covers algorithm design, that is, the skill of removing unnecessary detail and creating a sequence of steps to solve a problem. These chapters provide guidance and examples for teaching abstraction and algorithm design skills in a variety of contexts and scenarios. The sixth chapter provides an overview of the CTApp Game, which helps students practise computer thinking skills in a fun and engaging way. The chapter describes the idea, structure and features of the game and how teachers can use it in their classrooms. The seventh chapter summarises some popular strategies and online resources for integrating computer thinking into different subjects. It also provides links to additional resources and identifies opportunities for further training in computational thinking.

The Appendix to Chapter Seven presents three sample scenarios for different topics (one scenario provided by the CTApp project partners Cyprus, Poland and Italy), which illustrate how computational thinking can be applied in different fields.

We hope that this book will inspire you to explore the possibilities of computational thinking in your teaching practice, and help you prepare your students for the future challenges and opportunities that technology will bring.

Computational thinking