PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE DIGITAL AGE: BRINGING DESIGN AND COMPUTATIONAL THINKING TO THE K-12 CLASSROOM
A focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education has been an ongoing trend in the United States for most of the last decade. Recently, computer science has stood out as a focus within this movement. Supported by industry, non-profits, federal and local governments, the “CS4All” movement aims to provide every student the opportunity to learn to code. While many of these initiatives focus solely on coding, others are also advocating for students to learn skills required to structure problems so that they may be solved by a computer. As defined Jeanne Wing in 2006, computational thinking is part of a suite of problem solving tools in engineering, among design thinking (including human-centered design) and data literacy (the ability to collect, understand, use, and share data with others). Computational thinking skills, combined with design thinking and data literacy (collectively called digital-age problem solving) blend core critical thinking concepts from both STEM education and the Humanities. This study focuses on preparing teachers to integrate digital-age problem solving into their instructional practice by immersing teachers in a Massive Open Online Course for Educators (MOOC-Ed) through the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. The MOOC-Ed focuses on exposing teachers to digital-age problem solving concepts and supporting them in identifying examples in their current practice, and deepening integration in both their reflective practice and their work with students. Applications of digital-age problem solving are found both online and offline, and the MOOC-Ed focuses on helping educators identify and use these practices and skills in their daily practice. Through this MOOC-Ed, a model for digital-age problem solving was shared with practitioners from around the world. The MOOC-Ed was a valuable tool for participating teachers, with 97% of all course completers prepared to make positive changes to their practice. The digital-age problem solving cycle demonstrated value in helping teachers develop language around problem solving, making changes to their reflective practice, and creating hands-on learning experiences for students. Digital-age problem solving was useful to teachers beyond STEM fields, with teachers from all disciplines reporting and demonstrating value in the model.
Samberg, Mark. (March 2018). PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE DIGITAL AGE: BRINGING DESIGN AND COMPUTATIONAL THINKING TO THE K-12 CLASSROOM (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6714.)
Samberg, Mark. PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE DIGITAL AGE: BRINGING DESIGN AND COMPUTATIONAL THINKING TO THE K-12 CLASSROOM. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, March 2018. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6714. June 19, 2018.
Samberg, Mark, “PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE DIGITAL AGE: BRINGING DESIGN AND COMPUTATIONAL THINKING TO THE K-12 CLASSROOM” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, March 2018).
Samberg, Mark. PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE DIGITAL AGE: BRINGING DESIGN AND COMPUTATIONAL THINKING TO THE K-12 CLASSROOM [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; March 2018.
East Carolina University