Can machines think? — Alan Turing, 1950. Less than a decade after breaking the Nazi encryption machine Enigma and helping the Allied Forces win World War II, the great mathematician Alan Turing changed history a second time with a simple question: "Can machines think?"
While this question may seem abstract to any person, it helps focus the field as an area of technology and provide a blueprint for infusing machines and programs with machine learning and other subsets of computational thinking.
Building a machine is an outcome of critical analysis and thinking skills that involves many aspects. Many of the routine tasks that are done everyday are probably done without thinking. It is only when you are asked to do something new that you really have to think. Our Year-7’s are keeping very busy with understanding the concept of a flowchart and spell out the logic behind a program. Since flowcharts are a pictorial representation of the steps of an algorithm, they help to streamline and make it easier to understand the logic and the following steps / stages. Given the simplification of even a complex algorithm, communicating and explaining the same to others becomes a lot better and easier. This also helps them to organize big-picture thinking and provide a guide when it comes to problem solving techniques.
Computers simply follow the instructions given to them, so we need to convert the instructions given by humans into something the computer can understand. This is something that our very enthusiastic Year-8’s are experiencing in the computing lessons. Learning the ‘Python’ codes and writing programs brings joy and a sense of fulfillment to these young minds. Is a computer really smart? Our Year-8’s explored this using the Turing test and it was indeed delightful to listen to their views about their research.
Knowing what's inside and how it works will help you design, develop, and implement applications better, faster, cheaper, more efficient, and easier to use because you will be able to make informed decisions instead of estimating and assuming. Thinking on this further, our Year-9’s have been set to investigate more about Von Neumann architecture and the presentations’ made by the students gave them a sense of accomplishment.
Our Year-10’s minds are developing the skills to analyse, design, implement, test and evaluate ICT systems. The different stages in a systems life cycle aims to invent new ways to use and enjoy technology.
Change is constant. Though one may not be able to see the change, one can look back through the course of a year or maybe even a few months and see the change. Keeping all these aspects in mind our students at BCB equip themselves to adapt to these changes and develop Computational Thinking (CT) at its core for deeper understanding of problem-solving process that can be used by everyone, in a variety of content areas and everyday contexts.