Informatics and computational thinking, cross-skills in school

Staff - Faculty of Informatics

Date: 10 October 2023 / 11:00 - 12:00

USI East Campus, Room D1.15

Speaker: Violetta Lonati, University of Milan

Abstract: Although the situation is very diverse around the world, computer science learning is gaining an increasingly important role in education. As reported in a recent EU Council Recommendation, "many Member States have recently modified or are currently revising their curricula, with about one third introducing a separate subject into the curriculum. An emerging trend focuses on the inclusion of learning outcomes on computer science for both lower and upper secondary education". Despite this, there is still a lot of confusion in educational circles about informatics, which is often understood in the reductive sense of programming/coding, or even confused with the simple use of digital tools and related skills. In this talk, we will review themes and methods to teach effectively informatics starting from early grades and discuss its educational value, especially in non-vocational schools. We argue that understanding the principles governing the functioning of the digital tools and systems we are immersed in is fundamental in order to enable future citizens to make informed decisions on digital-related issues.

Biography: Violetta Lonati is assistant professor in Computer Science at the University of Milan. Degree in mathematics and PhD in computer science, her research interests include introductory programming learning, computing education at K12 level, constructivist strategies in computing education, and professional development for teachers. She is one of the founders of the ALaDDIn computing education research group at Milan University, awardee by Google and by Informatics Europe for their work in computing education. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Bebras Challenge and a former member of the International Bebras Board.

Host: Prof. Monica Landoni