Chandigarh, January 19.2020: If India has to be a US$ 5 trillion (Rs. 350 Lakh-Crore) economy, our students need to learn to Think Computationally, which is what advanced economies are mastering and Urvi Guglani, a technology evangelist from the University of California, Berkeley (USA), is advocating in India.
UC Berkeley is the number one public university in the world in Computer Science and has 22 Nobel Laureates and has won over 350 Olympic medals over its 150 years.
Urvi is propagating the concept of Computational Thinking (CT), which helps students develop skills to solve problems in the new digital age. On Wednesday, Urvi took two workshops in Manav Mangal World School Mohali.
All professions are being impacted by computers from literature to legal. Many jobs are getting wiped out from those in Kirana stores to voice call centers. At the same time, huge jobs are being created for those who understand how to harness computers.
As per McKinsey, almost 30 percent of jobs in 2030 are those not even created today. These jobs are likely to be for those who can harness the computational technologies. However, the problem with computers is that they are “mindless” they cannot do something because it is obvious.
For example, if you ask a robot to take water from the well, it will continue to do even if the fields get inundated, until you ask it to stop. Hence, precise instructions need to be given. This is what Computational Thinking teaches, to analyze dispassionately, think logically, recognize patterns, and use computers to do what is logical and/or routine. “Computational Thinking will make students more employable and have a better standard of living”, says Urvi.
Sunita Ranyal, Principal, CL Aggarwal DAV School, said, “Even though all students naturally develop Computational Thinking over a period of time, exposing them at a young age to formal Computational Thinking can accelerate this skill manifold.
We are really happy that Urvi conducted such a wonderful session with our students and teachers and explained how it could be made an integral part of the core syllabus. She kept the students engaged in a fun-filled way. As the basic concepts of Computational Thinking are now clear to them, it will enable the students to develop their skills further.”
Computational Thinking (“Algo Thinking”) helps in expressing problems and their solutions in ways that a computer could execute them. It helps the students to improve their academic performance with a better understanding of logic, helps develop their creative skills and makes the communication succinct, organized and more effective.
As a result, the kids who think algorithmically test 16% higher in cognitive abilities and 75 per cent higher in logic and abstract thinking. It also opens vistas for them to enter technically demanding but remunerative professions such as blockchain.
Computational Thinking is rapidly being made compulsory in schools across the world: Germany (2004), Belgium (2007), UK (2014), New Zealand (2016), US (2016), Canada (2017), South Korea (2018), Japan & Singapore (2020), etc. CT is not something that happens overnight or within one class period or lesson.
It develops over a period of time wherein the classroom culture shifts from being teacher-driven to student-driven, where students are constantly given opportunities to inquire, investigate, apply, create and present. Through this innovative session, Guglani has paved path to make Computational Thinking an integral part of the academics, and opened doors for students in the profitable field of data science
By Y.S. RANA