«Developing Computational Thinking through board games»

Pablo Garaizar

Universidad de Deusto

Free registration


In recent years, interest in the development of computational thinking in schools has grown. Initiatives such as HourOfCode or CodeWeek have encouraged organizations and companies to develop online learning platforms with the support of the European Union. However, these solutions are not useful in situations where there is no possibility to use the Internet or mobile devices. Unplugged computing is a valid alternative in these cases. Among the unplugged computing activities, computational thinking board games allow playful learning with little effort on the part of students and teachers.
Currently, there is a small set of board games that develop computational thinking skills. Most of these games pose a series of challenges that must be solved individually. However, they put a lot of emphasis on algorithmic thinking and neglect other aspects of computational thinking: abstraction, decomposition, pattern recognition, etc.
In this talk we will review some of the available board games for promoting Computational Thinking and we will explain the motivations and the functioning of the games developed by the Deusto LearningLab.


Pablo Garaizar (@Pgaraizar) has a PhD in Computer Engineering and a degree in Psychology. He works as a professor-researcher at the University of Deusto teaching the subjects of Programming, High Performance Computing or Ethical Hacking and researching the development of Computational Thinking within the Deusto LearningLab. In addition to having contributed to the development of educational apps such as Social Lab, Kodetu, Make World or Lempel, he is the author of educational board games such as Moon, Archers of Nand or Nobel Run.

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