Computational Thinking: Board Games

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Computational Thinking: Board Games

Computational Thinking with Board Gamesby Krista Mennella

3 Things Learned1. Board games are closely connected to computational thinking2. There are sets of codes connected to computational thinking that affects board games3. Board games teaches social skills as well as is educational teaching computational thinking

1. Board games are closely connected to computational thinking"Computational thinking is roughly defined as using the methods,language, and systems of computer science tounderstand a wide variety of topics. This can range from creating computational models of scientific phenomena to creating algorithms toplan one’s day more efficiently. Board games are a relatively closed set of representational resources that are organized in a coherent, rulelike manner; as such, they are amenable to this kind of inspection." (Berland and Lee, p. 66, 2011)

Application to Future Classroom

Connecting to my future classroom, I could have students use different strategies when playing board games and even design their own board games in the classroom! Watch this video about how to bring board game making into the classroom!

2. There are sets of codes connected to computational thinking that affects board games"Our final set of codes includedfive categories of computational thinking: conditional logic, algorithm building, debugging, simulation, and distributed computation. Conditional logic involves using an “if-thenelse”logic structure. Algorithm building involves the construction of a plan of action.Debugging involves diagnosing errors in logic or behavior. involved clarifying rules or strategies Simulation involves the enactment of algorithms or plans in order to test the likely outcome. Distributed computation is an inherently social aspect of computational thinking" (Berland and Lee, p. 69, 2011)

2 Questions1. Do people still play board games with all the technology that exists in today's society?*Technology is so advanced today and is so centered around apps and smartphones, so I was wondering whether board games being replaced by technology and if computationl thinking is still prevalent in these online games. 2. Do ALL board games connect to computational thinking? *The article only connected computational thinking to one game, so it made me wonder if all board games such as the ones I played as a kid all had compuational thinking skills or not.

3. Board games teach social skills and are educational in teaching computational thinking"There is a great deal of complexreasoning and inference that is taking place among the players" (Berland and Lee, p.68, 2011)"There are also several social aspects related to strategic games that could also be explored. A number of contemporary board games have an inter-generational appeal to them; in our experience, we haveobserved families will often gather to play casually and local hobby stores frequently have a mix of teenagers and adults" (Berland and Lee, p. 79, 2011)

Reference: Berland, M.,& Lee, V. R. (2011).Collaborative strategic board games as a site for distributedcomputational thinking. International Journal of Game-­‐Based Learning, 1(2), 65-­‐81.



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