Challenge to Promote Deep Understanding in ICT Valentina Dagien Vilnius University, Lithuania Informatics (CS) versus ICT Informatics (Computer Science) is concerned with designing and creating informatics products and tools, such as: algorithms, programs, application software, systems, methods, theorems, computers, ICT applications of CS (computing) concentrates on how to use and apply informatics and other information technology tools in working with information;

Short glance at Informatics at School Informatics education shifts in approach 6090: algorithmic thinking: creating programs, algorithmics, programming there was no ICT 90 ICT era: step back: basic computer literacy the capability to use todays technology beginning of 2000: fluency with ICT the capability to use new technology as it evolves 2006, J. Wing: computational thinking competencies built on the power and limits of computing: 3R (Reading + wRiting + aRithmetic) + Computational UK: harmful ICT replaced by CS

2012 September2014: Computing at School On all stages of K12 Computational Thinking Originally used by Seymour Papert, MIT, in Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas, Basic Books Inc. 1980 Popularized by Jeanette M. Wing (2006) Computational Thinking. Communications of the ACM, 49(3), 33-35 Computational Thinking

(CT) an universally applicable attitude and skill set everyone, not just computer scientist, would be eager to learn and use J. M. Wing. Computational thinking. Communications of the ACM, 49(3), p. 33-35, 2006. Computational Thinking "Computational Thinking is the thought processes involved in formulating problems and their solutions so that the solutions are represented in a form that can be effectively carried out by an information-processing agent. J. Cuny, L. Snyder, and J. M. Wing.

Demystifying Computational Thinking for NonComputer Scientists, 2010 Jeanette M. Wing Carnegie Mellon University Starting from practical examples identify the terms: abstraction, automation, analysis understand how young pupils can deal with novel problems. use/modify/create progression for the engagement with complex CS environments Operational definition by ISTE for CT as a problem-solving process with the following characteristics

Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer and other tools to help solve them Logically organizing and analyzing data Representing data through abstractions such as models and simulations Automating solutions through algorithmic thinking (a series of ordered steps) Identifying, analyzing, and implementing possible solutions with the goal of achieving the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources Generalizing and transferring this problem solving process to a wide variety of problems ISTE Computational thinking for all http://www.iste.org/learn/computational-thinking CT Concept, Capability Informatics

Data collection Find a data source for a problem area Data analysis Write a program to do basic statistical calculations on a set of data Data representation Use data structures such as array, linked list, stack, queue, graph, hash table Problem decomposition Define objects and methods; define main and functions

Abstraction Use procedures to encapsulate a set of often repeated commands that perform a function; use conditionals, loops, recursion, Algorithms & procedures Study classic algorithms; implement an algorithm for a problem area Automation Run programs Parallelization Threading, pipelining, dividing up data or task

in such a way to be processed in parallel Simulation Algorithm animation, parameter sweeping Lee et al. Computational thinking for youth in practice, ACM Inroads, 2:1, March 2011, pp. 32-37, European Schoolnet Study COMPUTING OUR FUTURE Computer programming and coding Priorities, school curricula and initiatives across Europe Report from

21 European countries European Schoolnet, October 2015 http:// fcl.eun.org/documents/10180/14689/Computing+our+fut ure_final.pdf/746e36b1-e1a6-4bf1-8105-ea27c0d2bbe0 Coding skills why? Many educators, as well as parents, economists and politicians in Europe and worldwide are starting to think that students need some computing and coding skills. By 2020, Europe may experience a shortage of more than 800,000 professionals skilled in computing / informatics. Coding skills help to understand todays digitalised society and foster 21st century skills like problem solving, creativity and logical thinking. Computational thinking is typically associated with

coding and computer programming, but is more than that, involving solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behaviour Terms used for coding Programming and computing are the most common terms used by countries. Coding and computer programming are also used. Some countries additionally use the terms algorithmic applications, algorithmic problem solving or algorithm design and data models, or algorithmic and robotics . Ireland and France exclusively refer to coding. Computational thinking is referred to by Belgium (Flanders), Czechia, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, and Poland. Distinction between ICT & technology, and CS

From the study Developing students digital competence is a priority for almost all countries (19). Using ICT as a tool for learning is one of the main priorities for the majority of countries (16). Coding is mentioned as a main priority only by 10 countries. Countries such as Belgium Flanders, the Czechia, Ireland, Malta and Poland mentioned CT as a key competence to be acquired when integrating coding in the curriculum. Coding is integrated or will be integrated by more than half of the countries (13) at upper secondary school level. Ten countries (Belgium Flanders, Estonia, Finland, Integrating coding skills in the curriculum

Deep understanding in ICT through events and activities CS Unplugged CS4FN Code.org RoboCup Junior First LEGO League Hour of Code European Code Week Bebras ... Competitions & Contests Contests are a source of inspiration and innovation Competitions in informatics have become important events for outstanding student developers to demonstrate their capabilities Just the idea of participating in a competition is

often enough to increase students motivation The competition structure creates an environment that reflects real-world work context better then course-related tasks Test-and attractive-task-based contests are key to the potential of new knowledge and attractive way to bind up technology and education Informatics Education & Contests Proceedings of ISSEP: Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution and Perspectives Zrich, 2010 Contest in Informatics BEBRAS (Beaver) International Challenge on Informatics and Computational Thinking

Established in 2004 Addresses all lower and upper secondary school pupils Usually performed at schools Aims To motivate pupils to engage in informatics topics to solve problems using informatics methods To stimulate all school pupils interest in informatics To push children to use IT in their learning activities more intensive and creative To encourage students to think deeper beyond technology International Challenge on Informatics and Computational Thinking As an easily accessible contest for students of all school

ages, it serves to promote informatics and to support informatics education. Bebras Community promote informatics and computational thinking among teachers and young people in particular, among decision-makers in the area of education, and to the public at large The members of the Bebras Community are organizations responsible for running a national Bebras Challenge in their country A member organization of the Bebras Community is referred to as National Bebras Organizer (NBO) Age groups Primary - Grades 3 and 4 (8-10 years old) Benjamin Grades 5 and 6 (11-12 years old) Cadet Grades 7 and 8 (13-14 years old) Junior Grades 9 and 10 (15-16 years old) Senior Grades 11 and 12(13) (17-19 years old)

From 18 to 24 tasks within 45 or 55 minutes FINLAND The Netherlands Russia Lithuania Bebras challenge Network of informatics (computer science, computing, and IT) educators community 1.3 million of participants during the contest in autumn 2015

Consolidates over 50 countries more than 1 313 000 participants from 38 countries in 2015 Girls Boys Country (%) (%) 28,4 Bulgaria 71,52 8 50,7 Iceland 49,26 4 Latvia Belgium

Girls Boys (%) (%) Country Girls (%) Boys (%) Italy 32,40 Serbia -

- 31,7 3 68,27 57,1 8 Estonia Azerbaija 43,8 n 1 56,2 Malaysia 4 44,8 Finland 7

56,4 Sweden 8 Kazakhst 28,0 an 3 Pakistan 40,1 Canada 0 42,82 56,19 43,31 67,60 Poland Hungary

Iran Japan Country 45,30 54,70 Switzerla 48,31 nd 51,69 USA 15,75

23,40 34,93 43,57 39 % of girls Czech participated 45,00 in 55,00 Republic the challenge Belaruss 2015 ia Turkey 48,91

51,09 United Kingdo m Australia 38,58 44,93 Slovakia 45,56 54,44 Austria

46,11 Macedoni 46,95 a Netherla 44,12 nds 50,94 Ukraine German y 48,83 51,17 43,69

56,13 France 49,06 50,94 53,05 55,88 55,13 Slovenia New Zealand 43,52

Russia Spain 71,97 Lithuania 42,95 57,05 Cyprus Taiwan South Africa 44,89 55,11

Ireland 44,33 55,67 Israel 56,03 Primary age group Country Number of participants Ukraine 24 897

France Slovakia Czechia Slovenia Serbia Australia Russia Belaruss ia Macedon 16 365 15 519 10 987 5 556 5 332 4 117 3 254 2 672

Country United Kingdom Pakistan Italy Sweden Switzerland Finland Hungary Iran Germany Number of participants 2 003 1 936 1 648 1 037

1 013 702 666 639 462 Bebras Contest: The Challenge of Thinking To solve the tasks one has to think Already learned knowledge is not asked Pupils have to find solving strategies They have to find and understand structures They have to think about different cases They have to find arguments for or against given alternatives Bebras tasks represent informatics concepts

stimulate computational thinking motivate learning informatics open a new knowledge area for students facilitate a deeper understanding of technology be short and solved within 3 minutes present information independently from specific software be interesting and funny Types of tasks Multiple-choice questions Open-ended questions Interactive problems o o o o o

o o Click objects Drag & drop Simulation Matching Selection Graph Grid Learning by contests grounds on attractive tasks Example: The Bee One of the four programs below will lead the bee to the flower. Which one is it? Note that the bee cannot fly over the red barriers.

Stack of plates Benjamin MEDIUM (2010, Germany) Cadet In the restaurant of the Beaver school, there are two EASY different kinds of plates: 39 the high green ones for the small beavers, and the flat brown ones for the big beavers. One day, due to building activities, there is only room for one stack of plates. The beaver kids are queuing for their lunch, and the kitchen beavers need to put the plates on the stack in the right order to make the stack match the queue. Example: In one of the following pairs of plate stacks and beaver queues, there is a

mismatch between queue and stack. In which one? A B This is Informatics CD In computer programs, data needs to be well organized into so called data structures. Among the most famous data structures are stacks and queues. Constructive Beaver Benjamin MEDIUM (2009, Germany) Junior

EASY Beaver has developed a very simple modeling language. It consists only of two kinds of objects and two possible Which operations operation sequences would generate this thing? The operation add(A, B) means: Put A and B side by side and glue B to the right side of A. The operation turn(A) This is Informatics means: turn A clockwise around 90 degrees. A B

A = add(cylinder, cylinder) A = add(cylinder, cylinder) B = turn(A) B = add(A, cube) C = turn(B) C = turn(B) D = add(C, cube) D = add(C, A) A programming language is a

D formal computer language or A = add(cube, A = add(cube, cube) constructed language designed to cylinder) B = add(A, cylinder) communicate instructions to a B = add(A, cylinder) C = turn(B) machine, particularly a computer. C D = add(C, cylinder) C = turn(B) D = add(C, cylinder)

Planting Flowers Cadets MEDIUM (2012, Germany) A big beaver and a little beaver are planting flowers in the garden. The little beaver has smaller arms and smaller legs than the big beaver. Little beaver's steps are therefore shorter and it plants the flowers at positions closer to its body. At the beginning, they stand on the lawn back to back looking in opposite directions. Then both move according to these instructions: repeat twice: plant a flower on your right hand side move one step forward plant a flower on your left hand side move one step forward. How does the lawn look like afterwards?

This is Informatics In robotics, algorithms are interpreted and executed by devices with certain physical properties. The program developer has to take this into account. Different machines may move in slightly different ways executing the same program. Graph of a map (2010, Austria) Junior Senior MEDIUM HARD Maps can be easily pictured as graphs. In such a graph every node is a country and

the lines between the nodes mean that they border each other. The picture shows a graph of a map with seven countries. Indicate the map that fits the given graph This is Informatics Graph theory is an important area of mathematics and computer science. The understanding of graphs is one of the basic skills in informatics. Furthermore, graphs often are an abstract picture of reality. This abstraction is needed for the creation of models, which can be implemented in computer programs later. Bookshelf (2012, Estonia)

Juniors MEDIUM Seniors EASY The librarian wants to order the volumes of an encyclopaedia with as few steps as possible. For doing one step he takes a volume out of the shelf, shifts some of the remaining ones to left or right and puts the volume in his hand to the new free space. The following example sorts 5 volumes using just one step: Now he wants to order the following 9 volumes: This is Informatics What is the smallest number of steps to A largest increasing subsequence remains untouched in the optimal

solution. To find substructures that remain invariant is a key competence of computational order thinking. all 9 volumes? Loading Lisas (2014, Germany) Benjamins Juniors MEDIUM HARD The fishermen Falke and Folke own two boats, named "Lisa 1" and "Lisa 2" the two Lisas. The maximum load for each boat is 300 kilo. Falke and Folke should carry some barrels filled with different kinds

of fish. They are paid per kilo transported. Put barrels onto the boats such that each boat gets loaded with as many kilos of fish as possible. This is Informatics are often used for The barrels have their weight (in kilos) printedComputers on them. optimization: for finding shortest routes or roundtrips, for determining optimal loads like in this task, and so on. Beavers Friends (2014, Ukraine) Benjamins HARD Cadets

EASY Nine ponds are connected to each other by channels. Bob lives in the central pond. His friends live in the other ponds. The number in each pond indicates how many friends live there. Bob decides to visit his friends. Each day he can swim along one canal so he will stay overnight in the pond that he swims to and continue his journey from there. Bob wants to visit as many different friends as possible. How many friends can he visit in four days starting at home and ending wherever he wants? This is Informatics The task presents us with a graph and

we are searching for the most valuable path (where most of the friends live) with four nodes (ponds) in the graph. www.bebras.or g Bebras brochures 2015 Video: Bebras Challenge at Forest Brook Middle School Influence of the challenge on teaching informatics

Introduces concepts to pupils Encourages exploring Gives examples of good tasks Stimulates learning some Informatics topics of on developing curriculum Sets an international standardization Helps to agree on concepts on teacher training Challenges teachers to deal with new concepts Improves

deeper understanding of informatics on research Shows evidence Some references: A. Balanskat, K. Engelhardt. Computing our future. Computer programming and coding: Priorities, school curricula and initiatives across Europe. European Schoolnet, October 2015. http:// fcl.eun.org/documents/10180/14689/Computing+our+future_final.pdf/746e36b1-e1a6-4bf1-8 105-ea27c0d2bbe0 V. Barr, C. Stephenson. Bringing computational thinking to K-12: What is involved and what is the role of the computer science education community? ACM Inroads, 2(1): p. 48-54, 2011. K. Brennan, M. Resnick. New frameworks for studying and assessing the development of computational thinking. Proc. of the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, 2012.

Exploring Computational Thinking. http://www.google.com/edu/computationalthinking ISTE Computational thinking for all. http://www.iste.org/learn/computational-thinking L. Mannila, V. Dagiene, et all. Computational Thinking in K-9 Education. Proc. of the WG Reports of the ITiCSE Conference, p. 1-29, 2014. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2713610 J. M. Wing. Computational thinking. Communications of the ACM, 49(3), 33-35, 2006. J. M. Wing. Computational Thinking: What and Why, 2011. http:// www.cs.cmu.edu/link/researchnotebook-computational-thinking-what-and-why Thank you International Bebras website www.bebras.org