In the summer of 2018 I had the opportunity of presenting at my first international conference at the International Conference on Computational Thinking in Education. The experience was incredible and I learned a lot about what cultural norms are specific to academia in the U.S. and what span across the globe. The conference was hosted by the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) which is a gorgeous campus and they were very generous in keeping us well fed!
I presented a paper alongside my very talented peer Yu-hui Chang entitled, “It Opens Up a New Way of Thinking, but…”: Implications from Pre-Service Teachers’ Introduction to Computational Thinking. The purpose of this study is to investigate how pre-service teachers perceive and conceptualize computational thinking (CT) concepts within K-12 education. We conducted a pilot case study that was situated in a teacher technology licensure course in the United States. After the CT exposure through a hands-on exploration of programming and robotics as well as an extension research activity, forty-four pre-service teachers’ learning artifacts were collected for a content analysis. In the initial findings, we found that pre-service teachers were trying to understand practical examples of CT, were inspired by the social justice issues related to computing, and shared CT is in alignment with their educational beliefs. Though a conceptual change of CT occurred among preservice teachers, there were assumptions and concerns among the pre-service teachers about its application in the classroom.