Computational Thinking for Everybody, With or Without Computers

Type of tool: 
60-90 min
Topics addressed: 
Personal development

Computational thinking is one of the key competencies as defined by PISA. Here we propose a set of fun activities that aims to introduce children from 7 years of age to computational thinking and computer programming, with or without computers.


Make accessible the development of computational thinking (or computer programming introduction), even in places where computer are hardly accessible for everybody. We present unplugged activities. That means that they can be realized without computer, or require a minimum of low-cost material. For the evaluation tool #5c21, it aims to make possible the evaluation of competencies by collecting concrete data based on competencies as they are prescribed by school systems. Collecting long-term data in that way would be a way to better represent the development of a competence for a given person.


The tool has been designe in a process of design thinking and research action. Its features allows autoevaluation and attribute value to ill-defined problems. It focuses on the ability of the learner to himself set his learning goals. It also rely on qualitative appreciationj of pupils production by proposing criteria instead of numeric scales.

Step by step process: 

1. Introduction computational thinking and computer programming while naming a few international attempts that goes in that direction
2. Unplugged activities : programming a human-robot, building a program from printed instructions.
3. Introduction to educational robotics (if possible, material carriage still to confirm)
4. Depending on time and devices available, introduction to visual programming with the web application Scratch
5. Each participant fills an autoevaluation right in the tool #5c21 in order to describe its achievement

Materials and resources: 

To use the assessment tool #5c21, participants would ideally have access to at least one connected device for 4-5 people (PC, mac, cellphone,...). If not possible, the tool will be introduced in a more formal way.


By the end of the workshop, participants will have lived an introduction to computational thinking, will have seen an example of computer programming made accessible for young children, and will have discussed about educational concerns: assessing competencies, access to material such as numeric devices, and introductiont to computational thinking.

Notes for further use: 

The most important in the process is the place attributed to creativity. Any activity aiming to reproduce such tool should be aware of some risks: too much guidance or problems with known solutions are not likely to engage learner in a creative process.

Average: 5 (1 vote)


Lama Tabet's picture
Submitted by Lama Tabet on

I never imagined that computer programming can be introduced in such an interactive and innovative way.
The workshop gave me the chance to learn about programming, to have fun and enjoy the process

Thank You

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