How our filters work:

Our team sorts through all blog submissions to place them in the categories they fit the most - meaning it's never been simpler to gain advice and new knowledge for topics most important for you. This is why we have created this straight-forward guide to help you navigate our system.

Phase 1: Pick your School Phase

Phase 2: Select all topic areas of choice

Search and Browse

And there you have it! Now your collection of blogs are catered to your chosen topics and are ready for you to explore. Plus, if you frequently return to the same categories you can bookmark your current URL and we will save your choices on return. Happy Reading!

New to our blogs? Click Here >

Filter Blog

School Phase

School Management Solutions

Curriculum Solutions

Classroom Solutions

Extra-Curricular Solutions

IT Solutions

Close X

Ensuring students are thinking computationally

When I conduct teacher training, my first slide asks teachers how they can solve world hunger!  Most teachers are surprised by this, because computational thinking is about problem solving rather than being able to simply program a computer.

My biggest concern is that too many teachers are simply using the pedagogy of the 1980’s where students would type copies of code from a magazine and hope that they had not made any mistakes.  The dangers are clearly present, because I have seen many YouTube tutorials where you simply copy from the screen what the presenter is doing and online tutorials that are little more than multiple choice or cloze tests. Whilst these might have a place when students are beginning to learn, this should not be the main staple of their computational thinking diet.


The concepts behind computational thinking go back as far as civilisation itself and even the term was in use in the late 1860’s. At its heart computational thinking comes down to breaking down problems (decomposition), recognising patterns, then focusing on the important details (abstraction) before creating clear instructions (algorithms).


All of these are skills we need in everyday life from sorting out our wardrobes through to lesson planning.  The reason that they are so closely associated with computers is because your average phone can calculate approximately 2.5 billion instructions per second.


A good computing curriculum not only gives students the ability to understand computer code, but also a chance to problem solve. This could be as simple as a little debugging code or doing 5 line coding challenges in visual languages such as scratch. From there they can be truly creative and come up with solutions to real world problems.

Leave a Reply

The author

James has been working in IT since 1998, firstly in the industry and now as a lead teacher for Computing at an international school in Malaysia. Along the way he has published a number of books (including contributions to Hodder’s Compute IT series), journal articles and written for Linux User. James’s speaking engagements have included the very first Raspberryjam at Cambridge University, Scratch Day East, Google, BETT, Miranda Mods, 21st Century Learning and Teachmeets. James is a long time member of Computing At School and chairman of Computing at School South East Asia. He is also a fellow of Mirandanet, an Apple Distinguished Educator, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, Google Certified Teacher and 21st Century’s Teacher of the year 2014.

Subscribe to the monthly bloggers digest

Cookies and Privacy
Like many sites this site uses cookies. Privacy Policy » OK