Computational thinking is a burgeoning subject/field, and that to not give the opportunity for K-12 students to learn about it is definitely destructive to their futures. Computer literacy has become so much more valued not only in the CS field but also in many others (hello, STEM careers). Last week, some local news channel had a story about the new common core/standards that were being implemented in Tennessee, and they interviewed a woman about how she disagreed with there being computer literacy added to the curriculum. Her sole reasoning was that she was concerned about the students who did not have access to a computer at home. Although this could look like a valid argument to some, I completely disagree because students already have to do internet research, homework assignments, and paper writing with a computer regardless of computer science work. Plus, students without computers are the ones who would benefit most from more work with computers since they do not have regular use and interaction with them at home.
I like how Grover & Pea discuss the use of fantasy in getting students engaged with CT; game design and robotics are really fun ways to introduce some fundamentals to otherwise uninterested students. I would also like to see more information/investigation about the idea of computing as a medium for teaching other subjects. Modeling software in science could be huge for this; the computer program we used in class to see the changing moon phases comes to mind. The subject of astronomy in general would benefit greatly if students had greater CT because it could help simplify advanced math and physics, so that topics are easier to comprehend without delving into complex computations.
I am not sure if I completely agree with Sengupta et al’s point that CT should be integrated with learning in the math and science domains. A separate course, like an introduction to computer literacies, would be helpful so that students have a familiarity with CT and possibly go more in depth than a science class could. However, I do agree that aspects of CT should be interwoven with the curriculum. The abstractness of CT is perfect for engaging students in higher levels of thinking, and will hopefully help them to connect classroom models to their physical phenomena with greater ease.