Computing as a discipline has common roots with mathematics and written languages, and computing as a way of thinking and handling has been integral to human culture since ever. This is not only a reasonable argument for convincing society to consider informatics as one of the very fundamental pillars of education, but it also puts the potential contributions of teaching informatics in schools into the correct perspective in the context of science and humanities. Many European countries are switching from teaching information technologies to informatics education during the current second decade of this century. Informatics curriculum is becoming a central part of school education. We explain and design a way of developing informatics curriculum that offer the critical competences new generations need to survive and thrive in todays’ knowledge society and will allow them to contribute to the future development of society. These competences also strongly support the development of their intellectual potential and creativity. Our design of informatics curriculum takes into account the interaction with other scientific disciplines as well with the subject didactics, pedagogy and psychology. The starting point is merging constructionism and critical thinking. Constructionism with its “learning by doing” and “learning by getting things to work” enables designing a teaching process in which students acquire knowledge by creating products, analysing the properties and the functionality of their own products, and finally derive motivation to improve these products. Critical thinking asks us not to teach products of science and technology and their application, but to teach the creative process of their development. To implement this approach, we use the historical method allowing the students to learn by productive failures in the process of searching for a solution. To organize the process of learning and make the different steps available to the appropriate age groups we take into account the cognitive dimensions of the revised taxonomy of Bloom. To illustrate how the combination of all these concepts works we present a detailed curriculum for algorithm design, programming, robotics, and communication in networks.
The European Commission Science Hub has been promoting Computational Thinking (CT) as an important 21st century skill or competence. However, "despite the high interest in developing computational thinking among schoolchildren and the large public and private investment in CT initiatives, there are a number of issues and challenges for the integration of CT in the school curricula". On the other hand, the Digital Competence (DC) Framework 2.0 (DigCom) is promoted in the same European Commission Science Hub portal. It shows that both topics have many things in common. Thus, there is the need of research on the relationship between CT and digital competence.
The goal of this paper is to analyse and discuss the relationship between DC and CT, and to help educators as well as educational policy makers to make informed decisions about how CT and DC can be included in their local institutions. We begin by defining DC and CT and then discuss the current state of both phenomena in education in multiple countries in Europe. By analysing official documents, we try to find the underlying commonness in both DC and CT, and discover all possible connections between them. Possible interconnections between the component groups of approaches are presented in Fig.
As an international informatics contest, or challenge, Bebras has started the second decade of its existence. The contest attracts more and more countries every year, recently there have been over 40 participating countries. From a single contest-focused annual event Bebras developed to a multifunctional challenge and an activities-based educational community building model. This paper aims to introduce the Bebras model using ten years of observations in implementing the contest in different countries. The model is essentially based on democratic and inclusive education values. Systematic literature review of research papers concerning Bebras activities has made an integral background for this model. The model is represented both at international and national levels and consists of several components where the development of Bebras tasks has taken a very significant role. Reasoning on innovated learning informatics and strengthening computational thinking by utilising carefully selected informatics concepts is discussed as well.
The paper presents the results of an evaluation of the Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Organisational Intelligence (OI) competences self-assessment tools developed and applied by the IGUANA1 project. In the paper Emotional Intelligence and Organisational Intelligence competences are discussed, their use in action research experiments to assess and support the development of innovation in schools is presented, together with the results of these experiments. The paper also discusses how innovation support in schools was linked to a ’Theory of Change’ approach in the IGUANA project and applied to support innovation plans developed by Portuguese and Lithuanian schools. Finally, the results of the use of the Theory of Change approach are discussed.
How to enable students to create a personalized learning environment? What are the criteria of evaluation of the ICT-based learning process personalization affordance? These questions are answered by conducting multiple case study research of the innovative ICT-based learning process in iTEC (Innovative Technologies for Engaging Classrooms) project in Lithuania. Analysis of the research data led to discernment of evaluation criteria of personalization affordance and creation of a framework for the ICT-based learning personalization affordance, comprised of the following three groups of evaluation criteria: (I) 'extremely important' criteria, (II) 'essential' criteria, (III) 'important' criteria. Students, who performed various constructionist ICT-based learning activities as part of innovative learning scenarios, evaluated these according to the 'extremely important' criteria. A majority of students have agreed that the proposed learning activities enable them to feel more confident and engaged into the learning process. The framework for ICT-based learning personalization affordance should help other teachers enable personalized learning in daily practice.
A long-term observation of students' usage of a dynamic geometry in a classroom at all grade levels has challenged to develop an approach for learning and understanding mathematics in an easier way for both students and teachers. The paper deals with the results of a study that investigates the process and outcomes of the implementation of abstract data types in dynamic sketches (by composing scripts) for learning geometry. Four abstract data types have been developed and defined using algebraic specifications. The development of a dynamic sketch scenario with the implementation of these abstract data types is presented in detail. An example of creating an interactive microworld, using abstract data types, is presented and discussed as well.
A lesson plan is an important methodological component of the learning process. The key purpose of the article is to analyse the current situation and suggest how the information technologies can assist in the development of lesson plans, their accumulation and retrieval, thus ensuring their effective application. The authors disclose the problems of lesson plan creation and their description as well as make comparative analysis of information and lesson plan templates provided at learning objects storages. The authors identified the main components of lesson plans and their description, based on application of learning objects metadata standard model and the principles for improving the model elements as well as on the results of the analysis made, and proposed the templates for creating the technology-based lesson plans and their description. The development of lesson plans and descriptions will allow educators reuse didactic resources (lesson plans) as an effective learning tool. The storage of didactic resources will allow teachers to use the best practices, and the same learning objects in different learning scenarios.
The paper is aimed to analyse the external expert evaluation results of eContentplus programme's iCOPER (Interoperable Content for Performance in a Competency-driven Society) project's deliverables, especially quality control and Web 2.0 technologies report. It is a suitability report for better practice concerning the use of Web 2.0 technologies and associated quality control mechanisms within the iCOPER best practice network. It aims to outline the key topics and associated standards and specifications found in this community. These illustrate a set of best practice issues for developing educational resources open for remixing and repurposing, tailored to a European dimension. Information relating to both the evidence and experience of using standards and specifications for the delivery of Web 2.0 tools in the community has also been captured. This includes an indication of the most popular technical platforms for content development, sharing and reuse with respect to the new media as well as an indication of quality control methods for them if used. The paper is also aimed to analyse the first results of Lifelong Learning Programme's (LLP) firstname.lastname@example.org project. The project plans to set up a web community for teachers interested in integrating Web 2.0 in classes at school.
Computers, information and communication technology (ICT) are more and more involved in the education process. Students should learn to use information technologies (IT) in a suitable, effective way, and when learning any subject they should be capable to implement computer facilities and thus develop their learning methods. Competitions are an excellent tool to achieve these goals. Competitions play an important role as a source of inspiration and innovation - youngsters are attracted by competitions, they get easier involved in such an activity, more willingly discuss and become more active. IT contests may be a key to the potential of new knowledge and an attractive way of binding up technology and education.
Interest in competitions essentially depends on problems. Really, choosing and developing interesting tasks (problems) is one of the most important issues bringing students into competitions. Attraction, invention, tricks, surprise should be desirable features of each problem presented to competitors. The problems have to be carefully selected, taking into account the different aspects of each problem. IT competitions should encourage students to think about computer science and to understand what it can be.
Introduction to computers, learning by using ICT are the actions aimed at solution and analysis of particular problems. Before starting IT competitions, tasks must be planned very carefully and based on some theoretical analysis. The main attention is paid to develop some criteria for creating as well as selecting tasks.
The history of the Lithuanian IT competition named ''Beaver'' started on October 21, 2004. Approximately 3500 students from about 150 comprehensive schools were involved in it. Afterwards, the workshop of participants from several foreign countries was held and building of a framework of the international ``Beaver'' competition was started. The paper deals with theoretical and practical issues of developing new kinds of competition in IT in Lithuania, called ``Beaver''.
This paper deals with the main problem of involving information technology in teacher education - structure and contents of teachers' training courses based on distance learning. In Lithuania, the Standard of computer literacy for educators has been developed. It should be the main source of all teachers' training courses on information technology. The Standard consists of two parts: technological and educational. The main attention of the paper is paid to the analysis and requirements of the educational part that becomes more and more urgent: it requires some psychological, cognitive, social, and pedagogical knowledge referring to the information technology usage in education. This paper comprehensively covers the problems of application of information technology in education, course planning, and implementation of distance teaching, it referring to the teachers' training course on educational issues of information technology via distance learning, carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania and organized by the Centre of Information Technologies of Education, and summarises its results.