Toggle open

Computational Thinking (CT)

Preparing the next generation of problem-solvers.

Computational thinking (CT) — an essential literacy for all students combines four pillars — problem decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithms. It involves expressing solutions as a series of steps to automate a process.

Although CT is the foundation for fields such as programming, data science and machine learning, students who pursue other careers will need these skills to:

  • Design solutions in all disciplines.
  • Create new tools.
  • Communicate with those who automate computer-supported solutions.

In order for all students to put these skills into practice, educators of all subject areas and grade levels need to be confident and competent computational thinkers themselves.

Develop Your Computational Thinking Skills

This 15-hour introductory ISTE U course, designed for educators of all subject areas, will help you incorporate CT into your curricula.

Topic CT web mockup v10 left column img
Explore How Educators are Tapping Into CT

Find out how other educators are teaching computational thinking through activities and lessons in these ISTE blog posts.

Topic CT web mockup v10 center column img
Learn about the ISTE Computational Thinking Competencies

The ISTE Computational Thinking Competencies were developed to give educators a blueprint for building CT skills across all disciplines.

Topic CT web mockup v10 right column img
Your guide to CT learning opportunities

This guide provides a framework and structure to build creative learning opportunities that will help students adapt to unfamiliar challenges and allow for more success with innovative lesson plans.

Get Peer Support for All Things CT on Connect

ISTE+ASCD’s free online community brings together education change agents from around the world to share computational thinking lessons and resources, get answers to questions and share best practices.

Learn More From These Videos, Articles and Podcasts

Video Playlist: Explore the ISTE Standards: Computational Thinking

These four videos illustrate how students learn computational thinking by conducting real research, programming robots, decomposing societal problems and using algorithms to automate processes.

Watch Now
Podcast: Reading, Writing and ... AI Literacy? Conrad Wolfram Wants to Fix Math Education

Conrad Wolfram, co-founder of Wolfram Research Europe, proposes a new way for schools and colleges to rethink everything in math education — including what even needs to be taught and why.

Listen Now
Article: The 5th ‘C’ of 21st Century Skills? Try Computational Thinking (Not Coding)

Shuchi Grover (@shuchig), a former senior research scientist at SRI International’s Center for Technology in Learning, writes that preparing educators to teach CT is a key task that schools need to take on.

Start Reading
Article: How an Unplugged Approach to Computational Thinking Can Move Schools to Computer Science

Unplugged approaches to teaching computational thinking may be the path that will help address a looming educational chasm: ensuring equitable access to computer education across the globe.

Start Reading