I just completed a short online course on Computational Thinking. Through it, I learned that the building blocks of CT include Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Abstraction and Algorithm Design. We take for granted how often these strategies are used in various areas of learning. In order to process new information, we regularly break down data into smaller parts (decomposition); we observe patterns in data and make predictions based on those trends (pattern recognition); we summarize the general principles that create these patters (abstraction); and lastly we create clear instructions in order to solve problems (algorithm design).

During one of the exercises that was exploring algorithms, there was an activity called an Ngram Viewer. Through it, one is able to graph the popularity of certain words over the course of time and cultures. The first word that popped into my head to try was YOLO, which is honestly just a silly buzz word being used today (it stands for “you only live once”). I was shocked to see such an exciting graph pop up and learned that it isn’t just a new word coined by Drake; though he claims rights to the word and all the merchandise that comes with it. There is a history of the word dating back to the early 1800s, and after learning this fact, I promptly got lost down a google-search-rabbit-hole! As a future theatre teacher, I was excited about incorporating the Ngram Viewer to research the history and influence of Shakespeare’s language (for example) on contemporary culture.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 9.37.18 PMYolo

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