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Computational Thinking for All

By Carolyn Sykora
April 23, 2021
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Advances in computing have expanded our capacity to solve problems at a scale never before imagined, using strategies that have not been available to us before now. Students will need to learn and practice new skills — computational thinking — to take full advantage of these revolutionary changes brought about by rapid changes in technology.

ISTE and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) collaborated on a project to prepare young learners to become computational thinkers who understand how today's digital tools can help solve tomorrow's problems. The goal is to make CT accessible to K-12 teachers, to build interest in thinking skills and integrate them into the curriculum. The emphasis is on thinking skills, with or without a computer.

Computational thinking is knowing what steps to take to solve a problem and to apply that skill across disciplines. Another expectation is that students will become not just tool users, but tool creators, a skill useful in their personal lives as well.

Because both associations believe that CT is vital for raising the level of achievement, preparing students for global competitiveness and blending academics with real life, they have made the resources below free to all educators.

Toolkit offers resources for educators

ISTE's Computational Thinking Toolkit is a complete collection of all of our CT resources. From presentations and handouts to surveys and graphic animations, you'll find everything you need to learn more about or to advocate for CT. You can use resources in the Computational Thinking Toolkit for conference presentations, study groups or meetings with educators, parents, community or industry leaders.

Computational thinking operational definition

ISTE and CSTA have collaborated with leaders from higher education, industry and K-12 education to develop an operational definition of computational thinking (CT). The definition provides a framework and vocabulary for CT that is meant to resonate with all K-12 educators.


CT Operational Definition
CT Teacher Resources (PDF)
CT Leadership Toolkit (PDF)
CT: A digital age skill for everyone (video)

ISTE U - Computational Thinking edtech PD

This is an updated version of a post that originally published Sept. 11, 2014.