Since its birth in 2008, ALaDDIn has promoted and organized many activities for schools, but not only.
Since the school year 2015/16 we organize the Italian edition of the Bebras challenge (international website). It is a non-competitive team challenge for pupils of primary and secondary school. Bebras' goal is to let pupils approach informatics as a scientific discipline in a playful way: no prior knowledge about informatics is required, everybody can take part in it! The challenge takes place during the second week of november, at the same time as the analogous editions in the rest of the world, and is done online: pupils access the Bebras platform from their school with a browser.
The recent Italian reforms of the school system have given more space to informatics among the curricular subjects. Nevertheless teachers often lack a specific education in informatics and there is a strong need for training.
We offer courses and training activities for teachers of primary (4th and 5th grades), lower secondary (6th-8th grade), and upper secondary schools (9th-13th grade): the activities focus on the design and implementation of teaching paths, based on the use of active learning methodologies; the informatics topics dealt with are those of significant educational value such as information representation, programming, modularity, abstraction.
Since the academic year 2014/15 we have been teaching of “Didactics of Informatics”, a course of the master degree in Informatics, open to in-service teachers as well.
Since 2012 we have been engaged in the organization and teaching of the “Tirocinio Formativo Attivo” and “Percorso Abilitante Speciale” for informatics prospective teachers.
ALaDDIn has conceived and experimented some didactic workshops (in Italian) in different contexts. The workshops are ment to convey a correct view of informatics as a scientific discipline, with a playful, but rigorous approach. The activities are intended to give pupils the opportunity to explore an informatic topic: investigate it firsthand, make hypotheses that can then be tested in a guided context during the activity, and construct viable mental models. No front lessons are offered, but active work in small groups, starting with non conventional materials or contexts. The workshops end with an activity at the computer, but never start from there. The activities do not require any prerequisite, being conceived for the abstraction level of the age for which they are proposed, rather than on previous informatic knowledge or skills.
Digito Ergo Sum (in Italian) is a radio broadcast born with the aim diffusing and promoting enthusiasm for informatics. A journalist and essayist expert in technologies, with the help of some of us, explores the less known and more enganging aspects of the scientific and social challenges posed by informatics.
In 2011 we organized INFOCULT 2011 - Workshop on the Popularization of Informatics as a Science. It was one of the first meeting opportunities, in Italy, where to discuss the importance of the culture of informatics in secondary, and even primary schools; there were English sessions with the participation of international experts, and Italian ones mainly devoted to laboratorial activities.