• It is a unique combination of thinking skills that, when used together,
provide the basis of a new and powerful form of problem solving.
• It is more tool oriented.
• It makes use of familiar problem-solving skills such as trial and
error, iteration, and even guessing
in contexts where they were previously impractical but which are now
possible because they can be automated and implemented at much
Why Is CT Important?
The application of computer technolo-
gy to virtually every field of study has
changed the way work is done today.
While the human mind is by far the
most powerful problem-solving tool
we have, the ability to extend the pow-
er of human thought with computers
and other digital tools has become an
essential part of our everyday lives
and work. We all need to understand
how, when, and where computers and
other digital tools can help us solve
problems, and we all need to know
how to communicate with others who
can assist us with computer-supported
David Barr is a retired K– 12 teacher and administrator who works as an educational tech- nology consultant. He serves on the ISTE NETS Leadership Team and the steering com- mittee of the NSF/ISTE/CSTA
Computational Thinking project.
John Harrison has taught math- ematics and computer science at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, since 1999. He sits on the Computer Science Teachers Association board and chairs its communications committee.
Leslie Conery is deputy CEO of ISTE. She holds an assortment of degrees and certifications in computer science, education, and association management. She has also been a classroom teacher at the elementary and high school
levels and a professional development specialist.
This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation
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