Tech-Based Teaching — Computational Conversations with Eli Sheldon


Photo courtesy of Tech-Based Teaching

Today’s interview is with Eli Sheldon, founding ninth-grade computer science teacher at Rainier Valley Leadership Academy High School. He helps run the Green Dot Computational Thinking Center, a center in the Green Dot Public Schools school system that helps to ideate and implement computational thinking programs.


What’s your personal definition of computational thinking?

[It’s] a toolbox of problem-solving skills that draw from computer science and can be applied across all disciplines.

What sparked your interest in computational thinking?

While I was working at Microsoft and considering a move into education, a brand-new public middle school opened up a position for a computational thinking program manager to come design and implement a school-wide computational thinking (CT) initiative, in which I’d be working with all teachers on staff to integrate CT projects and units aligned with their learning objectives and standards into their classrooms on a regular basis. The types of thinking and real-world learning I presumed that would entail aligned super closely with my undergrad education at Olin College, and I was super excited to bring that same style of hands-on, learn-by-doing learning to middle-school students.

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