Empowering Educators with Computational Thinking in the Era of Merdeka Curriculum

Majalengka, July 29, 2023 – The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology has introduced various strategies to integrate Computational Thinking into education at all levels as part of the Merdeka Curriculum in Indonesia. Recognizing the importance of this initiative, the Department of Computer Science Education at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI), has taken the initiative to support and train teachers, especially those in the Majalengka Regency Education Office, through a Community Service Program (PkM).

The PkM program was inaugurated by Joko Setiyanto, M.Kom, representing the Majalengka Regency Education Office, and Eddy Prasetyo Nugroho, MT, as the Head Researcher from the Department of Computer Science Education, FPMIPA UPI.

In his opening remarks, Eddy Prasetyo Nugroho, MT, emphasized the importance of this program as a continuation of the collaboration between FPMIPA UPI, specifically the Department of Computer Science Education, and the Majalengka Regency Education Office. A prior workshop on the Bebras Program UPI, organized by Prof. Lala Septem Riza, MT, served as the foundation for this program. It was essential to enhance the implementation of computational thinking for teachers, especially when faced with limited computer facilities in schools to support the Merdeka Curriculum effectively.

Representing the Majalengka Regency Education Office, Joko Setianto, M.Kom, emphasized the need for teachers to enhance their competencies, particularly in the 4C Competencies (Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication). These competencies are crucial in the current digital era, encompassing critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, and effective communication. Enhancing these competencies among teachers will have a positive impact on the learning process in their respective schools. Therefore, one of the key elements in implementing the Merdeka Curriculum is the integration of Computational Thinking in education at all levels, from elementary to high school. Additionally, Computational Thinking’s impact extends beyond the classroom, as it fosters problem-solving in various fields and school management.

The PkM program, titled “Optimizing Computational Thinking Capabilities Based on Unplugged Approaches in Embracing the Merdeka Curriculum,” was held on July 29, 2023, at the Majalengka Regency Education Office’s auditorium. The event included a seminar and training session attended by around 50 teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools. Distinguished speakers from the Department of Computer Science Education, including Dr. Asep Wahyudin, S.Kom., MT, Eddy Prasetyo Nugroho, MT, and Ani Anisyah, MT, provided valuable insights and assistance on integrating Computational Thinking (CT) through Unplugged approaches into their teaching practices.

Dr. Asep Wahyudin, S.Kom., MT, presented on “Redefining the Concept of the Merdeka Curriculum through Computational Thinking,” emphasizing how the stages of Computational Thinking need to be integrated into solving various problems, aligned with each subject’s teaching context. Eddy Prasetyo Nugroho, MT, stressed the importance of creativity and innovation, especially when schools lack sufficient facilities. Therefore, techniques like CT Unplugged are necessary for such situations.

Ani Anisyah, MT, elaborated on implementing CT Unplugged through various techniques, including playdough, cards, beads, origami, and others, to enhance learning experiences. During the program, participants actively engaged in exploring CT Unplugged implementation by showcasing their work and videos from the previous Bebras UPI workshop, which was relevant to this program. This included presentations from five teachers specializing in Science subjects at elementary and middle schools, as well as Computer Networking at vocational schools.

The PkM program received strong support from the Department of Computer Science Education’s lecturers and students at FPMIPA UPI, who actively participated in both organizing and contributing to the program’s content. The 50 selected participants had previously attended the Bebras UPI workshop in January 2023, which laid the foundation for their active involvement in this program.

From the participants’ feedback, they expressed gratitude for gaining valuable knowledge and insights, which improved their competencies in implementing Computational Thinking, particularly the Unplugged techniques, in line with the Merdeka Curriculum. They believe this training will significantly benefit teachers’ implementation of Computational Thinking at their respective schools. The program’s success was evident from the enthusiasm and active participation of the attendees, which demonstrated the potential for the sustainable integration of Computational Thinking in education.