Building a future with innovative minds - computational thinking with a purpose
Technology-integrated learning at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir (STS) focuses on the 5 C's: creativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and computational thinking. The STS curriculum teaches students to be digitally-literate through the introduction of the fifth 'C', computational thinking. STS recognizes that proper technology integration and education is about the design of the learning experiences that not only help students strengthen their digital abilities, but to also help students think critically about what tool best enables their learning in different situations.
An idea based on logic, computational thinking begins as a fundamental skill where students view the completed product and work backward to fully understand the process leading to the finished product. Computational thinking equips STS students with the ability to shift their point of view of technology from consumption-based to resource-based.
Beginning at the Elementary School level, students are exposed to higher levels of engagement and involvement by becoming digitally-literate in the organization of their education. This sets the foundation for digital literacy, a critical skill for students as they transition into Middle and Senior School when the content and programming becomes more challenging. In understanding algorithms and logic statements, STS students are the leading generation of computational thinking and innovators in Alberta.
"As Calgary recognizes the need to support entrepreneurialism and technology start-ups, we are trying to ensure that our educational programming is also leading in these areas," said Alanna Wellwood, Director of Educational Technology and Programming at STS.
Design and technology-integrated education is only one example of achieving STS' mission of developing students with a life of purpose. Through technology-integrated learning, STS is redefining the concept of project-based learning. STS faculty are fostering learning environments that allow students to work as they go by presenting students with the end goal and then finding the resources to achieve it. Through this approach, students become independently invested in their learning experience by finding opportunities within their own lives in which to integrate design.
Technology-integrated programming illustrates STS' commitment to the design of learning experiences that help students empathize with others to help them solve problems using technology. As professional environments transition to become less corporate-structured and more entrepreneurial, STS students are able to identify opportunities within their individual lives to apply their design literacy and computational thinking to benefit their communities as a whole. Employing students with an array of skill sets allows for critical thinking beyond the classroom, truly building innovators who will make significant contributions in the future.