The winner of the Informatics Europe 2016 Best Practices in Education Award is the ALaDDIn project, proposed by Carlo Bellettini, Violetta Lonati, Dario Malchiodi, Mattia Monga, Anna Morpurgo and Massimo Santini, from the ALaDDIn working group at the Computer Science Department, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.

BPEA 2016 edition
The Award, organised annually by Informatics Europe and sponsored by Microsoft Research, was presented at a special ceremony held in Budapest, Hungary, during the 2016 European Computer Science Summit, where the award winner presented the scope and impact of their project.

Initiated in 2008, the ALaDDIn project (ALaDDIn, LAboratory for Dissemination and Didactics of INformatics) has promoted Informatics in schools since 2011 through playful activities via the so-called algomotricity teaching methodology. The methodology has a solid theoretical foundation in experiential learning theory and problem-based learning and stands out by its clear didactical design; an important aspect of the approach is the focus on exploration and scientific inquiry applied to computing topics. To date, almost 3,000 pupils have participated to ALaDDIn’s workshops, and more than 500 teachers have been exposed to the methodology.

Left to right: Michael E. Caspersen, Anna Morpurgo, Mattia Monga, Lynda Hardman. Photo: Altagra, Hungary.
Left to right: Michael E. Caspersen, Anna Morpurgo, Mattia Monga, Lynda Hardman. Photo: Altagra, Hungary.

“ALaDDIn was selected for the clear positive changes the project brought about in pupils’ conception of computing. It shows that it can be fun to tackle challenging problems through computational thinking”, comments Michael E. Caspersen, Professor at Aarhus University and Chair of this year`s Award Committee. “It is particularly interesting that pupils recognise the necessity of precision and appreciate it as an important asset, not as an inappropriate constraint imposed by teachers.”
About the Informatics Europe Best Practices in Education Award
In line with its mission to foster and promote teaching quality in Informatics, Informatics Europe annually presents the “Best Practices in Education Award”. The Award recognizes outstanding European educational initiatives that improve the quality of informatics teaching and the attractiveness of the discipline, and that can be applied beyond their institutions of origin. The 2016 award program focuses on initiatives promoting Informatics education in secondary schools.

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