Today we learned the importance of following instructions and how the computer follows instructions. We started taking this quiz: Following Directions Quiz . See if you can complete it in 5 minutes.
Then we followed the instructions to draw a picture and there were lots of different interpretations like this one on the left.
We ended with an activity where everyone tried to write simple instructions for making a peanut butter sandwich. It turns out that a computer doesn't understand english very well and took the instructions way too literal and things got a bit messy (here is an example).
We concluded that English is not a good language for the computer. The language a computer needs is very detailed and specific in its instructions. It needs instructions like "add", or "subtract", or "draw a pixel at this location". Computers are not smart, they only know how to follow instructions and we need formal computer languages to communicate with them to write programs.
Exploring Computer Science (ECS)
The goal of Exploring Computer Science is to develop in students the computational thinking practices of algorithm development, problem solving and programming. Students will also be introduced to topics such as interface design, limits of computers and societal and ethical issues.