Here is a cool tool that utilizes algorithms: ngrams to use to track word or phrase usage over time and within different cultures. My students are currently studying physical regions of Virginia. Students ponder how human systems are impacted by location. The word civilization comes to mind here. Has the definition of civilization changed over time? Would there be evidence in literature? How might other cultures view the term civilization? IWW might students develop an algorithm to track travel from region to region using different forms of transportation (aka Google Maps)?
This is where I will endeavor to begin using computational thinking with my students. I must say this course has further solidified my recent theory: the older I get, the less I know. This course has added a new facet of learning for me. Thanks PLN for introducing me to "Google school"!