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IJIET 2018 Vol.8(10): 742-747 ISSN: 2010-3689
doi: 10.18178/ijiet.2018.8.10.1132

The Nature of Computational Thinking in Computing Education

Thomas Hvid Spangsberg and Martin Brynskov

Abstract—Computational Thinking has gained popularity in recent years within educational and political discourses. It is more than ever crucial to discuss the term itself and what it means. In June 2017, Denning articulated that computational thinking can be viewed as either “traditional” or “new”. New computational thinking highlights certain skills as desired in solving problems, whereas traditional computational thinking is a skill set resulting from engaging in traditional computing activities. By looking at computational thinking through the perspective of semiotics, it is possible to dissolve the traditional vs new distinction and concentrate on computational thinking having both an explicit and implicit nature. In this perspective, a computer program becomes an algorithmic sign which can both be interpreted by humans and machines. The double interpretation allows for a dialectic relationship between computing activities and Computational Thinking instead of the dualistic traditional vs new approach.

Index Terms—Computational thinking, constructionism, computing education, the notional machine.

The authors are with the Department of Digital Design and Information Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark (e-mail: tbhs@cc.au.dk, brynskov@cavi.au.dk).


Cite: Thomas Hvid Spangsberg and Martin Brynskov, "The Nature of Computational Thinking in Computing Education," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 742-747, 2018.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Jon-Chao Hong
  • Managing Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2023: 2.8), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Google Scholar
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net
  • Article Processing Charge: 800 USD


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