• Lyle Neff

EdNews Daily. In STEAM education, it’s not the screens but the thinking, says Digital Media Academy

Updated: Mar 14


The technologized classroom doesn’t have to be a zone of zonked-out kids staring into screens, according to Digital Media Academy’s Director of Education, Jamie Turner. In fact, devices are the smallest part of solid STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) instruction. What’s more important is to prepare young learners for the future technological ecosystem they’ll be living in. That means introducing them to critical tech-oriented thinking habits, not just watching them click on links.


Read Jamie Turner on computational and design thinking.


“Computational thinking... is a problem-solving method that breaks things down into smaller steps. Introducing computational thinking at a young age through play-based learning (like games and group activities) allows young learners to explore how computers think, and the processes that go into telling a computer how to do a certain task.


Early adoption of computational thinking sets students up for future success in all types of computer-science activities. Further, it helps students to develop a step-by-step or process-oriented mindset, which supports learning across all areas of the curriculum, such as mathematical processes, cause and effect logic, and so on.”


It’s counter-intuitive stuff, but it makes sense when you think about it. Engage with a device, especially if you’re very young, and you only gain knowledge of that device. Better to gain a sound understanding of the principles that underlie all technological activity -- that way, young people are ready for a future which, although we know it’ll be wired, is otherwise unpredictable.