Data Analyst and renowned Columbia University professor, Jeannette M. Wing brought the idea of "Computational Thinking" to the forefront in 2006 which resonated with educators, scientists, and the general audience around the world.
So, what is computational thinking?
According to Jeannette Wing, computational thinking is one of the most fundamental skills for the future. It is a way of thinking that can effectively and creatively solve problems like a computer scientist to make tedious, time-consuming tasks simple and easy as we step into the era of "The Knowledge Economy"!
Since technology is dominant in the new economy, and it is a concept best defined as "to do more with less" It is essential for all members of the society to learn to think in a way that's logical, fast and smart.
To utilize the full potential of IT technology we need this approach that every successful business model uses. Take Google for example, it used IT and computational thinking to revolutionise the way we receive information, it eliminated the struggle to search for information in libraries and brought it to us just a few clicks away. Another example is that of Uber and how it completely changed the transport industry by providing convenient and affordable transport on the smartphone in your pocket . And if you look carefully around you, mobile apps and internet technology has changed all aspects of life like listening to music on spotify, shopping on amazon, hotelling via AirBnB, ordering food at Food Panda and getting real-time travel route information on Waze. These are the businesses that have solved problems using CT and made lives easier.
Computational thinking is being adopted by experts in every major field because it's perceived to be a vital tool for progress. For example, biologists have made rapid development in genetics and drug discovery researches by using computational algorithms to predict biological reactions, quantum physicists have made groundbreaking discoveries about the universe and the field of statistics has been revolutionized by using CT and has in fact given birth to the rapidly growing field of Data Science.
"want to know more?"
Code as a Language
A programming language is a formal language that specifies a set of instructions that can be used to produce various kinds of output and just like any other language in the world, it is best learned at an early age. more
The internet contains billions of resources for students to learn almost anything for free. But the power of knowledge lies with the people who know where to look for information.
Educators agree that the best age to learn a skill like math or language is ages 5 - 11 years old. Similarly, children need to start learning coding at an early age to build a deeper foundation for their future. more
The revolution began with the invention of world wide web and it is steadily taking over the economy. Thus, Our economy has completely transitioned from Industrial Economy to Knowledge Economy. more
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One might think that CT is most beneficial for STEM careers but it's not necessary for everyone.. But this is where we misunderstand the power of CT. CT is not only for STEM fields but is in fact a fundamental skill required for most of the jobs in today's economy. Companies that increasingly require a computer programming course and CT skills are actually outside of the STEM fields in industries like healthcare, manufacturing, art and design, and finance. Educators want to change the 3Rs of education and add programming ('rogramming) to Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic and want programming as the basic skill each child must have, just like math is, even though not everyone ends up being a mathematician. So it doesn't matter if you're a lawyer, an accountant or an artist, "do more with less" is the future of your businesses and careers!
You might ask, how does computational thinking really work?
Computational thinking uses scientific methods like prefetching, caching, backtracking and online algorithms to find creative solutions to everyday problems. In fact, these methods are so common, everyone has used them at some point, even you! When you have to decide which route to take for work every morning, you recall previous experience of using various routes, prioritize the most convenient route and make the decision just like an algorithm! Or when you are heading out for a trip and pack all the necessary tools beforehand, you are prefetching! Just like these examples, computational thinking develops the way you process information and make decisions the way a computer scientist would and you don't need an advanced degree in IT for that!
So if CT is so essential, how can we practically develop it?
The most effective way to develop CT is to learn computer programming because it uses logical and mathematical algorithms to solve problems and make decisions. It can achieve two goals with one arrow by having more people with CT ability and having the skill set of a computer programmer and thus having many more computer programmers in the future who could develop apps to make our lives easier. You can learn simple and widely used computer languages like Python without specialising in computer science and easily master CT!
So learn to think the right way and brace yourselves for the future of Information Revolution.