«Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes»
To develop computational thinking means to increase students logical competences and their ability to resolve problems in a creative and efficient way. For example, educating them to describe the world around them with a combination of symbols that follow precise rules and ways of reasoning. During the experimentation on the theme of Computational Thinking, we shall focus on the following three steps of problem solving:
- data analysis
- creation of algorithms
- implementation of the algorithms through a code (or pseudocode)
The technologies used are Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics. The main objective is to develop students logical thinking skills.
RIALE: Remote Intelligent Access to Lab Experiment
During the second cycle of the IDEA project, we developed a new proposal inside the Computational Thinking theme: the RIALE Platform.
RIALE is an educational platform that offers students remote access to scientific experiments both synchronously (as the experiment is being done) and asynchronously (accessing at a later time to the registration of the experiment and its additional features). The mentioned experiments are carried out in Research Centres or University Laboratories.
The concept is to give secondary schools virtual access to professional research laboratories through a platform that enables to:
- interact live with the researcher as he is carrying the experiment;
- collect data from the experiment devices using IoT data channels;
- access the experiments’ registered videos and enrich them with educational contents on an interactive timeline.
The objectives of the RIALE proposal are many:
- To create a beneficial interaction between teachers and secondary school students on one hand and researchers from both research centres and the university on the other;
- To give secondary students the opportunity to get to know better the world of scientific research in all those cases in which it is not possible to do it first hand;
- To provide students with a tool that adapts to their learning stiles, thanks to the contents available at all times on the interactive timeline;
- To provide teachers with a tool able to monitor each student’s learning path;
- To give classes the possibility to observe scientific experiments, acquire data, and analyse the latter, following the scientific method.
For the school year 2020-2021, we activated a collaboration with the Next Laboratory of CRS4, that hosts a last generation DNA sequencing platform.
Students of a few secondary school classes will be able to know and explore the details of real scientific procedures, in one of research fields that evolves most rapidly, both from the point of view of scientific discoveries and form that of the technologies used.
Besides being able to virtually explore the lab and interact with the researcher, students will be able to use IT tools to analyse real data, therefore they will do some of the research work themselves.
Interdisciplinarity in digital teaching
The use of Artificial Intelligence for an overall approach of school subjects
The objective of this experimentation theme is to stimulate students to develop their natural ability to make connections between school subjects as different as Latin and Mathematics. To reach this scope, an Artificial Intelligence software, developed by the IDEA team of CRS4 will be used. The module is able to find connections between words related to different topics and generate automatically a concept map. Teachers can use it to develop personalized education based enhancement, recovery and consolidation activities regarding concepts covered in class, based on students’ needs. The scope is to foster/promote a better understanding of the conceptual framework in which students evolve, in which they are invited to build a map of previous and newly acquired knowledge.