The CBM Teaching Platform
The computational thinking approach pioneered by Conrad Wolfram and his team is now available as a ready-to-use, integrated student and teacher platform covering a sample curriculum.
The CBM teaching platform includes:
A starter set of Data Science, Modelling, Geometry, Information Processing and Architecture of Computation problems
Modules: "Directed learning"—instructor-led, predetermined narrative to a solution
Projects: "Guided learning"—instructor-assisted, open-ended exploration
From learners with only basic literacy and computer skills to advanced learners seeking to solve complex problems (dependent upon module or project)
The learning is delivered within the context of a realistic problem narrative split into chapters and activities, leading the learner through the problem-solving process with helpful checkpoints and opportunities to discuss progress at regular intervals.
Learners experience in-context, real-life, messy problems and learn the skills required to make progress by constructing a precise question to tackle.
Rather than being given narrow calculation questions to complete by hand, students are given problems to discuss, define, scope and make assumptions around, in preparation for abstraction.
As learners use the computer to do the calculating, previously out-of-reach concepts (due to their calculation complexity) become accessible at an earlier stage. Learners have a full set of cutting-edge tools available to them and are guided toward stable choices in the narrative, often through the use of primers.
Learners have access to industry-standard computation tools and are not restricted to the templates given in the materials—the learner can enter and run Wolfram Language code at any point within the resource.
Learners validate their solutions by comparing to real results and critique their solution, allowing them to reflect upon their approach. Most importantly, they learn to iterate and refine their solution using the CBM solution helix as a guide.
The reflection on learning is structured around the fundamental four-step process, rather than the progressive steps of a calculation.
Consolidation of learning is done within a new context so that learners experience how to adapt their newfound knowledge to new contexts. There are no new concepts or tools that are required in a project.
Primers are out-of-context descriptions of concepts that are useful within a module, similar to current curricular resources. Different problem-solving narratives may link to the same primer as necessary.