Computational Thinking for Educators is a new, free online course designed by Google that runs through December 20th to help teachers better understand how to reinforce computational thinking in their classroom. Before you say this isn’t for you since you are not the computer science teacher, know that Google has actually designed this course for humanities, math, and science teachers, as well as computer science teachers. The only prerequisite is that you have a Google account so that you can register for the course; no programming knowledge is required.
The goal of this course is to help educators learn about computational thinking, how it differs from computer science, and how it can be integrated into a variety of subject areas. Computational thinking is a process that generalizes a solution to open-ended problems. You will learn how to design lessons to help students analyze and logically organize data. Students can then explore ways to model their data to better understand it, as well as create simulations to test out possible solutions that they’ve identified. Afterwards, students are tasked with generalizing and applying the computational thinking process to other problems for which their solutions may be helpful.
You can watch a quick introductory video to help describe the course here. Because the course is completely online and self-paced, you’ll enjoy the convenience of accessing it when it fits your schedule. Allow five to fifteen hours to go through the complete course, depending on your goals. The course consists of text lessons, supplemental videos, activities, and a hands-on final project. Complete the course prior to December 20th and you will be able to download a certificate of completion.