Digital literacy and computational thinking

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Digital literacy and computational thinking are two related but unique concepts that are important in today's digital world.

Digital literacy refers to the ability to effectively use digital technologies to access, evaluate, create, and communicate information. Moreover, it encompasses a wide range of skills, from basic computer use and internet navigation to more advanced skills like coding and data analysis.

Computational thinking, on the other hand, brings about the ability to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts and use algorithms and logical thinking to solve them. It also involves a set of problem-solving skills and techniques that are used in computer science and it's related fields of study.

These are the four parts of computational thinking according to research;

1. Decomposition :

Decomposition is the process of breaking down a problem into complex and manageable parts.

2. Abstraction : abstraction enhances computational thinkers to focus only on the most relevant information and to ignore unnecessary details.

3. Pattern recognition : Pattern recognition involves reading through information to find similar problems. Identifying patterns makes it easier to organise data, which in turn can help with problem solving.  

4. Algorithm design :

Algorithm design is the culmination of all the previous stages. Like a computer programmer writing a set of instructions for a computer algorithm, algorithmic thinking comes up with step-by-step solutions that can be followed in order to solve a problem.

Testing and debugging also occur at this stage to ensure that solutions remain accurate for purpose.

While digital literacy focuses on the use of digital technologies, computational thinking is more concerned with the problem-solving process itself.

Both digital literacy and computational thinking are becoming increasingly important in today's society, as more and more aspects of our lives are becoming digital. The ability to effectively use and understand digital technologies is essential for success in many fields, from education and business to healthcare and government. Similarly, the ability to think logically and solve complex problems is a valuable skill in many professions, including computer science, engineering, and finance.

Writer : Theophilus Soglo

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