Computer science develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and shows them how to create, not simply use, new technologies. This fundamental knowledge prepares students for the 21st Century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation. By applying computer science as a tool for learning and expression in a variety of disciplines or interests, students will actively participate in a world that increasingly is influenced by technology.
Michigan’s vision for computer science education is that all learners will develop foundational computer science skills to solve problems and be constructive citizens. In doing so, students will:
- Learn new approaches to problem-solving.
- Harness the power of computational thinking; and
- Use computer science tools to create technology.
Many times, when people think of computer science they think of coding. While this is one aspect of computer science, it encompasses more than just coding. Similarly, people think of cybersecurity as its own discipline, whereas it is a concept area within computer science. Computer science curriculum may include some of the following topics and activities: algorithmic problem-solving; computing and data analysis; human-computer interaction; modeling and simulating real-world problems; creating and manipulating graphics; programming, including game design, web design, robotics; and ethical and social issues in computing.
Michigan’s recently adopted K-12 computer science standards outline learning expectations for Michigan students and are intended to guide local curriculum development. Through the adoption of these standards, Michigan recognizes that computer science learning opportunities must be available to all students, regardless of where they live in the state or the demographics of the schools they attend. Computer science is not just vocational; it is foundational.