What is it about?

This paper argues for a reframing of computing education away from a focus on students learning to code towards a focus on them developing personally meaningful solutions to issues in their lives and communities. Through this approach, which we call computational action, we believe we can better support youth, particularly those underrepresented in computing, to develop their computational identities, digital empowerment, and understand the role computing can play in their future careers.

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Why is it important?

The current programming-centric approaches to computing education are abstracting the "why", "for whom", and "for what purpose" from computing. This is resulting in students disengaging from computing education and computing career pathways because they feel they won't use it in their future lives and work. This paper argues that we need to focus on the personal applicability and meaningfulness of computing or we risk losing those students we most want to reach.

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This page is a summary of: From computational thinking to computational action, Communications of the ACM, February 2019, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), DOI: 10.1145/3265747.
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