Mega-mind Mondays: CT Not Just About Computers

Welcome to Mega-Mind Mondays! This series feature both students and parents who have embarked on this fruitful journey of Computational Thinking. Over here, inclusivity is our mission. Expect to hear stories from different backgrounds and walks of life, like a special needs child who found his passion in programming and a parent of a 4 year-old Computational Thinker who is also a coding teacher. After all, this is what we believe in - that Computational Thinking is for anyone and everyone, without discrimination.

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Never underestimate the power of a parent’s support, be it discussing their learnings with them or even doing the activity together. Your response and reaction to the subject is a huge cue to your child, and remember that their actions are always a reflection of yours- if you show interest in their learning, they will be interested to learn more!

Let’s hear it from Yong, a proud mama of three (all of which are experts in Computational Thinking). We’re glad to hear that this useful skill set, besides benefiting her children’s lives, is also a topic for them over dinner and helps them to bond and spend quality time together.

“What made you decide to send your child to Computational Thinking classes?”

My husband is a software engineer and he was keen to expose the kids in coding which he finds interesting and important and hoped the kids could develop a better understanding of technology. We sent all 3 of them to Coding Lab for Computational Thinking classes where they have professionals that able to coach the kids from a basic level all the way up. As parents, we lack the time and knowledge in this education and programming field, so we felt it was better to let the tutors coach and guide them.

Editor’s note: Now that we’ve launched Tiny Thinkers, a free-for-all resource library to guide your child’s development in Computational Thinking with minimal cost and effort needed, there’s no more excuse for you, Yong!

“How do you show encouragement and reinforce your child’s learnings?”

It is a great bonding time for the parents and kids to discuss on what game to design and do it together! The kids and I also now have an extra common topic to talk about over dinner.

“What changes did you see in your child after they started learning Computational Thinking?”

When they see a new game, they will think about the logic behind it and how they will build up the game. This is unlike before where they simply play games as a form of entertainment, without thinking about the process that goes into its creation.

"There are many misconceptions surrounding CT by parents. What do you think are some common misconceptions that you or other parents may have had?"

Parents might think the kids will end up only playing games and did not benefit anything from CT. Or it makes them glued to the computer and become anti-social. However, in fact they can look at things with more logical sense and learn to read instructions and able to follow systematically to complete tasks after learning Computational Thinking. As the world is getting more digital, learning to write code and read code has become a valuable skill set. Computational Thinking helps my kids to become more confident and persistent to solve more complex problems, and build their tolerance to deal with ambiguity.

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“Computational Thinking is not only applicable in class- but more of teaching your child how to solve problems in a different way. What are some instances in your daily lives that you witnessed the effects of Computational Thinking on your child?”

They are willing to do hands on stuff like building cupboards by reading up the instructions manual, instead of simply asking us to do it for them. By themselves, they also try to figure out how the system works on Lego and understand more about technology and the logical thinking behind it.

Editor’s note: Besides the technical skill set, Computational Thinking also helps to train your child’s creativity and encourage them to look for answers all by themselves.