Computational thinking has been a hugely successful idea and is now taught at school in many countries across the world. Although I welcome the positioning of computer science as a respectable, influential intellectual discipline, in my view computational thinking has abstracted us too far away from the heart of computation – the machine. The world would be a tedious place if we had to do all our computational thinking ourselves; that’s why we invented computers in the first place. Yet, the new school curricula across the world have lost focus on hardware and how code executes on it.
Is this because of the block-type programming, such as Scratch, which is prevalent today? I do like how certain projects on code.org will let you use the blocks editor or write the code, but maybe these interfaces need to go deeper. One change that I know has affected computer understanding is the lack of exposure to numbers in different bases. Computer love base-2 and base-16 numbering system, and I was taught different bases in elementary school, but it seems that the different bases aren’t taught any more.
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