New Jersey Department of Education

Computer Science & Design Thinking

New approaches necessary for solving the critical challenges that we face as a society will require harnessing the power of technology and computing. Rapidly changing technologies and the proliferation of digital information have permeated and radically transformed learning, working, and everyday life. To be well-educated, global-minded individuals in a computing-intensive world, students must have a clear understanding of the concepts and practices of computer science. As education systems adapt to a vision of students who are not just computer users but also computationally literate creators who are proficient in the concepts and practices of computer science and design thinking, engaging students in computational thinking and human-centered approaches to design through the study of computer science and technology serves to prepare students to ethically produce and critically consume technology.

New Jersey Student Learning Standards for
Computer Science and Design Thinking

Intent and Spirit

All students receive computer science and design thinking instruction from Kindergarten through grade 12. The study of these disciplines focuses on deep understanding of concepts that enable students to think critically and systematically about leveraging technology to solve local and global issues. Authentic learning experiences that enable students to apply content knowledge, integrate concepts across disciplines, develop computational thinking skills, acquire and incorporate varied perspectives, and communicate with diverse audiences about the use and effects of computing prepares New Jersey students for college and careers.


Computer science and design thinking education prepares students to succeed in today's knowledge-based economy by providing equitable and expanded access to high-quality, standards-based computer science and technological design education.


All students have equitable access to a rigorous computer science and design thinking education. Students will benefit from opportunities to engage in high-quality technology programs that foster their ability to:

  • Develop and apply computational and design thinking to address real-world problems and design creative solutions;
  • Engage as collaborators, innovators, and entrepreneurs on a clear pathway to success through postsecondary education and careers;
  • Navigate the dynamic digital landscape to become healthy, productive, 21st century global-minded individuals; and
  • Participate in an inclusive and diverse computing culture that appreciates and incorporates perspectives from people of different genders, ethnicities, and abilities.

Please note that the concepts and skills previously included in 8.1 Educational Technology of the 2014 NJSLS — Technology have been expanded and integrated across multiple disciplinary concepts in the 2020 NJSLS — Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills standard 9.4. Given the ubiquity of technology, our students will continue to be required to demonstrate increasing levels of proficiency to access, manage, evaluate, and synthesize information in their personal, academic, and professional lives. Therefore, the standards that were housed in one discipline have been enhanced and restructured to reflect the continued need for student learning in technology literacy, digital citizenship, and information and media literacy.

The K–12 Computer Science Framework, led by the Association for Computing Machinery,, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, and National Math and Science Initiative in partnership with states and districts, informed the development of the NJSLS — Computer Science and Design Thinking.

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Page Last Updated: 10/19/2023

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