Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Anne-Louise Robertson
    20 questions - a computational thinking approach?
    8 April
    Public discussion Created by Anne-Louise Robertson

    20190408_145443-01.jpeg I was having a discussion with a kaiako the other day. We were talking about how she could redesign how she teaches to 'let go of the siloed timetable'. She teaches in a small rural school with approx 25 students aged from 5 - 12. We have been exploring an inquiry approach to learning and were discussing how her topic for term 2 "Famous New Zealanders" could be woven across all curriculum areas rather than being a discreet 'Inquiry' slot in the timetable. 

    One of the activities we thought of to introduce some thinking about who the people are who have helped shape New Zealand, and to generate thinking about what makes a good question was the game of '20 questions.'  You know, the one where you can ask questions to which the responder can only answer 'Yes' or 'No'. It is a great way of illustrating what a 'closed' question is and then exploring how much more information you can get or be prompted to look for if you ask an 'open' question. But I also wondered - because DT & HM is on my mind constantly! - if the closed questions actually make it a computational thinking activity? Each time you are asking a question you are seeking to narrow down the options to solve a problem; in this case, trying to find out who the famous person is I might ask;

    Are they alive (or dead)?

    Are they male (or female)?

    Were they born before 1900 (or after 1900)?

    Are they a sports person?

    Are they an artist?

    Are they married (or single)? 

    etc...

    This might be another way to connect with those teachers who are non-techy, to allay their fears that we use computational thinking in all areas of life - not just in a digital context.

    Thoughts? 
     

    So, thinking about ways to make it fun for kids and engage them - you could use games like Guess Who?  Guess who game And as you said, they could plot the path as they play or have an observer plot it and then analyse to see if they could have refined the search parameters to get a solution more quickly.

    - By Anne-Louise Robertson
      • Jacky Young
        By Jacky Young
        Apr 9

        It's a sorting algorithm isn't it? Perhaps they could then write it up as one using a branching diagram.  I have seen something similar where students are given 10 pictures of Mr Men characters and then have to come up with sorting criteria which provides the same sort of 2 options each time so that eventually all pictures are separated, eg are they wearing a hat - yes/no - etc

        • Robin Hughes
          By Robin Hughes
          Apr 10

          I love it. I think this is very helpful,

          The logical progression is onto a if/then/else

          This is easy to turn into a game

          Simon says is a reasonable simple example just adding &&
          If 'Simon' is nodding their head and they say "Simon says" then do what simon is doing or else (if not true) then do nothing. 

          • Anne-Louise Robertson
            By Anne-Louise Robertson
            Apr 11

            So, thinking about ways to make it fun for kids and engage them - you could use games like Guess Who?  Guess who game And as you said, they could plot the path as they play or have an observer plot it and then analyse to see if they could have refined the search parameters to get a solution more quickly.

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