Teaching Computational Thinking in K-6: The CSER Digital Technologies MOOC

Falkner, K., Vivian, R. and Falkner, N.

    In recent decades, ICT curriculum in K-10 has typically focussed on ICT as a tool, with the development of digital literacy being the key requirement. Areas such as computer science (CS) or computational thinking (CT) were typically isolated into senior secondary programs, with a focus on programming and algorithm development, when they were considered at all. New curricula introduced in England, and currently awaiting minister endorsement within Australia, have identified the need to educate for both digital literacy and CS, and the need to promote both from the commencement of schooling. This has presented significant challenges for teachers within this space, as they generally do not have the disciplinary knowledge to teach new computing curriculum and pedagogy in the early years is currently underdeveloped. In this paper, we introduce the CSER Digital Technologies MOOC, assisting teachers in the development of the fundamental knowledge of CT and the Australian Digital Technologies curriculum component. We describe our course structure, and key mechanisms for building a learning community within a MOOC context. We identify key challenges that teachers have identified in mastering this new curriculum, highlighting areas of future research in the teaching and learning of CT in K-6.
Cite as: Falkner, K., Vivian, R. and Falkner, N. (2015). Teaching Computational Thinking in K-6: The CSER Digital Technologies MOOC. In Proc. 17th Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2015) Sydney, Australia. CRPIT, 160. D'Souza, D and Falkner, K. Eds., ACS. 63-72
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