Computational Thinker – ISTE Student Standards

Computational Thinker – ISTE Student Standards

3 Stripes

What is computational thinking?

“But computational thinking is going to be needed everywhere. And doing it well is going to be a key to success in almost all future careers. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, farmers, whatever. The future of all these professions will be full of computational thinking. Whether it’s sensor-based medicine, computational contracts, education analytics or computational agriculture — success is going to rely on being able to do computational thinking well.” – Stephen Wolfram, Backchannel


  1. Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
  2. Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
  3. Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
  4. Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Teachers who build up computational thinking in their classrooms help students to:

  • “select a problem/issue to address and describe how specific digital tools or approaches might contribute to a solution.”
  • “collect data from an experiment or existing data set.”
  • “analyze data to draw a conclusion or develop a solution.”

(From page 9 of the Ed Tech Product Development Guide by ISTE)

From ISTE Standards for Students, “Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.”


Earn Your Stripe

  • Watch the video above.
  • Submit below any experiences you completed with students that pushed them to be computational thinkers.
  • Explain the connection between these experiences and the ISTE standard.

People who have earned this:

  • Profile photo of Amanda Hines
  • Profile photo of Tara Bova
  • Profile photo of Shannon Clubb
  • Profile photo of Emily Goode
  • Profile photo of Geoffrey Seyer
  • Profile photo of Jessica McDonald
  • Profile photo of Michael Hines
  • Profile photo of Jamie Russell
  • Profile photo of Tina Schuessler
  • Profile photo of Stephanie Small
  • Profile photo of Theresa Taylor
  • Profile photo of Valleroy
  • Profile photo of Melissa Winkler