Courses in Computational Thinking for Teachers

Computational Thinking can be described as "thinking in steps" or "thinking as a computer". HandiHow offers courses on two different levels for teachers to develop higher skill level in the area of Computational Thinking.

In the course CT level I we are not going to program, but we will work on developing the thinking process. How can you instruct a computer? How can you let the computer understand what needs to be calculated? And especially, how can you create nice assignments for students so that they become better at Computational Thinking. Which tools can you use? Because the end goal of the course is not only that the teacher develops skills, but also that his/her students will ultimately benefit. Level I course focuses mainly on teachers in the primary schools and lower levels of secondary schools. There are several nice tools available to teach students how to think as a computer, and you will get familiar with some of these tools.

In the course CT level II we will start with programming in Python. We focus mainly on Python and programming in the environment of Jupyter notebooks. We will work on creating material that can be used in your classrooms. The exact sciences are good subjects but also languages can offer interesting background for programming exercises. For example, you can create an automatic text writer or model physical motion. The course focuses on secondary school teachers that are planning to use Python in the classroom. With the materials that you develop during the course, you will learn Python, the notebook environment and also you will already have material that you can use with your students. The students will afterwards benefit from your knowledge of programming with Python because they will also learn it.

Four parts of Computational Thinking

Problemen opdelen in stukjes
Breaking down a complex problem
Filteren van informatie
Filtering important information
Patronen herkennen
Pattern recognition
Algoritmes programmeren
Developing a step-by-step solution

Computational Thinking Level I

This course covers two half-days. In the first half of the day we practice with teaching materials from FutureNL. That's how you become familiar with this great resource. FutureNL has free new teaching materials in the field of Computational Thinking every week. There are ready-made lessons that are well thought out and can be applied directly in the classroom. We are also going to work with Scratch.

During the second half of the day we will build an app ourselves using the Appsheet platform. We create a mobile application with a list of animals. This app can really be installed on your phone! Information can be added to each animal such as its name, weight and species. You can also upload a photo of the animal.

This exercise is a great way to experience how apps are created. You go from one screen to another, for example from a list view, to a detail view, and then back to an input screen. In the same or different form, this exercise can be done with students. Three of the four aspects of computational thinking also emerge: decomposition, abstraction and pattern recognition. Programming algorithms is not discussed.

Computational Thinking Level II

This course consists of 4 half days.

Day part 1 - basic principles and data structures

We discuss the basic principles of Computational Thinking and we get acquainted with the Python environment. We learn the data types "strings", "numbers" and "lists". We are working on teaching materials that can be used in the classroom to explain these basic principles.

Day 2 - functions and statements

We discuss theory about functions, compare variables and "if, elif, else" statements. We do various exercises with this and work on teaching materials that apply to this.

Daypart 3 - loops

We discuss loops (while loop, for loop). There are also various exercises and we are working on teaching materials that can be used in the classroom.

Day part 4 - final assignments

We are now going to make final projects for students. These are challenging exercises where the student can demonstrate that he can apply all the programming knowledge. The goal is to program the final assignment yourself, and also to describe the assignment for the student.

Sign up for courses

These courses are given on location with sufficient registrations (minimum 8, maximum 12 people).

Price on request

Locations further than 30km from Capelle aan den IJssel (Netherlands) will have added transportation cost