Computer Science and Computational Thinking Resources

TDOE Computer Science FAQ

Computer Science Integration Guidebook

Computer Science & Computational Thinking Glossary

K-12 Framework Statements by Grade Band Resource

Computer Science Legislation Overview

Computer Science Law: Public Chapter No. 979

Elementary School CS Integrated Model Lessons

Middle School CS Integrated Model Lessons

High School CS Integrated Model Lessons

Short Courses


K-12 Computer Science Framework Practices

Computer Science Integration Posters

Computer Science Education Week

Computer Science Teaching Association

Computer Science Teaching Association: Tennessee Chapter

Computer Science Video Library

Computer Science Standards Resources

Tennessee K-12 Computer Science State Standards

Computer Science Standards Implementation Guide


Computer Science Standards Progressions

Computer Science Standards Reference Document

Computer Science Standards Reference Document by Grade Level

K-12 Tennessee Computer Science Core Concepts Poster


Where do we see computer science in our everyday lives?

People interact with computer science every day. From engineers to doctors, students to teachers, entrepreneurs to investors, and government organizations – they all use it to perform specific tasks, for entertainment, online learning, and office work. Some great examples of computer science in action are when we use “recommended for you” suggestions on a music or movie streaming service, when we get a quote for insurance for our car, or when we are typing on our phone or a computer search bar that “predicts” what we will type next.  

Why is computer science education important?

Computer science is the process of solving complex organizational problems using technical solutions. The reason this is such an important field is that computers and technology have been integrated into virtually every economic sector, industry, and even organization operating in the modern economy.

What will students learn in computer science courses?
Course content will vary depending on the course. Overall, students will follow one of two pathways and here’s what they will learn in each:

General Computer Science courses: (everyone takes in middle school and high school has option below)

Students will learn:

  • How to protect themselves and their information online
  • General vocabulary used in computer science
  • General concepts used in computer science like algorithms, decomposition, etc. and how they are seen and used in other areas of study/work
  • Simple coding and basics of computer languages
Computer Science Deep Dive courses: (high school electives in computer science)

Students will learn:

  • Specific computer languages 
  • How to network computer systems (hardware)
  • In-depth cybersecurity
  • Web-page and game design elements
Are computer science skills relevant to careers outside of technical fields?

Although the job openings in technical fields alone are a good incentive to have CS/coding skills, those same skills translate into almost any job field. According to recent reports, 65 percent of sought-after skills in data analysis, programming and information technology, engineering and manufacturing, marketing and design are related to computer science.

Additionally, the skills are more important than education. The demand for hybrid roles that incorporate computer science skills but focus on other core competencies will continue to grow.

Why is it important to have equity in computer science?

Regardless of their future career, many students will be using computer science at work; by one estimate, more than 7.7 million Americans use computers in complex ways in their jobs, almost half of them in fields that are not directly related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) (Change the Equation, 2015). Unfortunately, K–12 students today have limited opportunity to learn about these computer science concepts and practices and to understand how computer science influences their daily lives. Computer science for all students requires that equity be at the forefront of any reform effort. When equity exists, there are appropriate supports based on individual students’ needs so that all have the opportunity to achieve similar levels of success.

What does equity in computer science look like in K-12?

We are defining equity as students/communities having BOTH access AND opportunities to learn in ways that are meaningful to them. Teachers need to show not just the value of computer science but how it can be a tool for solving problems and issues in local communities. This will require us to think more “holistically” about computer science and integrate it across disciplines. Learn more about the state’s efforts to reach every student in our state through the Reach Them All program here.

What is required for a teacher to successfully teach CS?

Teachers need an understanding of vocabulary for the common themes and concepts in computer science and computational thinking. They need understanding of how these topics overlap and intersect with their own content areas and fields of study in order to be able to integrate into instruction in authentic scenarios. And all teachers need awareness of the wealth of online and analog resources available to assist with integration into all content areas.

Is there a specific computer science curriculum that should be used?

No. Tennessee created the K-12 Computer Science Standards as a framework that can be modified to fit any local context. There are many quality curricula available online and instructional material decisions are left to local boards.  For a list of resources that we have vetted look here.

Where can educators/administrators learn more about #CSdrivesTN?

Sign up for the TSIN newsletter at or follow on Twitter @theTSIN or find on Facebook at the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network to stay up to date on PD and opportunities around Computer Science and computational thinking in Tennessee’s K-12 spaces.