From computational thinking to computational action: Understanding changes in computational identity through app inventor and the internet of things

Mike Tissenbaum, Mark Sherman, Josh Sheldon, Hal Abelson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


This paper advocates for a shift from teaching and assessing computational thinking towards one of computational action, which instead emphasizes learners’ ability to develop computational artifacts that can impact their daily lives. We also discuss the importance of developing computational identity and digital empowerment as central to computational action. In order to understand how to support the development of computational identities and digital empowerment, we examined a group of students (ages 15-19) engaged in a 5-week summer camp that combined MIT’s App Inventor and the Internet of Things (IoT). Results showed that participants significantly improved their ability to use IoT for meaningful impact in their worlds, and to develop IoT solutions to common problems in their everyday lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1657-1658
Number of pages2
JournalProceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS
Issue number2018-June
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2018: Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 23 2018Jun 27 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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