Initial Publication Date: August 23, 2019

Challenges with teaching computation

Babasola Ogunsanya, Mathematics, Montgomery College

According to Mathworld (2019) computation can be defined as an operation that begins with some initial conditions and gives an output which follows from a definite set of rules. The example given by this source is operation of computers, in which the fixed set of rules may be the functions provided by a programming language. The field of computer science studies,the nature of computation and its uses, among other action of mathematical calculation. This mathematical calculation may include arithmetical problem, calculation, tally, arithmetic, figures, numbers, etc.

Similarly, Merriam Webster (2018) defined Computation as act or action of computing or calculation. How to use computation in a sentence. In summary computation can be defined as any type of calculation that includes both arithmetical and non-arithmetical steps and follows a well-defined model, for example an algorithm. The study of computation is paramount to the discipline of computer science.

The challenges of teaching computation are different from the challenges we use to encounter in the early nineties. Then the challenges use to be students having issues with making connection between mathematical concepts and application to computation using any computer software. Also, then there use to be challenges with students unable to see the multiple representation of given data as it connects to the use of various computer software. We were able to over come some of these challenges due to constant and continual use of those software

Lately, the challenges we have now is the directions most schools are moving with regards to computer labs and desk top computers. Take for example my school district; we are currently converting all computer labs to classrooms and taking all desk tops out of classrooms. School desktops are been replaced by chrome books/tables which will force us to use only software that are compatible with either of them.

In conclusion, coming up with the solution to the challenges is relative because schools are sold out to using chrome books/Tables; it is software provider that need to be creative to meet use at the middle. Though I am aware that there are various apps out there but from my experience they are not as powerful as the desktop software. Software companies need to improve their apps to be on the same level with the desktop software.

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Challenges of Teaching computation (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 16kB Aug23 19)