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Open access

Maila Pentucci

Abstract

The change imposed by the diffusion of information and communications technology concerns didactic transposition practices, especially in the context of ‘public subjects’, such as taught history, because their epistemological paradigms are also affected by the mediatization process which they are subjected to in the Web.

Digital competence is essential for building a meaningful curriculum of history, which could generate relevant knowledge for the contemporary world through digital artefacts that can start the change in didactic practices.

The traditional analogical supports, primarily the text books, could be overtaken by the aggregation of technological mediators. The digital mediators can make historical culture both evident and significant, and they can support the intellectual training that history asks of students.

Open access

Elena Firpo

Abstract

The purpose of the applied research presented herein is to devise and promote language teaching paradigms that are intended to develop bilingual abilities in second-generation Latin Americans (aged 11-12 years) in the Italian middle school, thereby recovering their original linguistic background, while amplifying their knowledge of Italian, thus redefining a carefully balanced, pluralistic linguistic framework. Moreover, the study aims to establish a bilingual teaching model that may also be applied to different language pairings.

The LI.LO (acronym for Italian Language/Native Language) programme was designed and delivered in blended learning on Sybra/CLiRe (Centro Linguistico in Rete) platform of the University of Genoa and it focuses on the development of bilingual skills with respect to academic language, cognitive abilities, and computer competence. It promotes language proficiency and the complete integration of non-Italian, second-generation Latin American students.

The first part of the study illustrates Italian linguistic policies, underscoring the need to close the gap between the actual state of the Italian school system and extant norms. The second part of the study shows the theoretical and methodological assumptions of the blended model of the course LI.LO as well as the course activities. The third part of the article shows the results of the evaluation and self-evaluation questionnaires administered after the study’s completion.

Open access

Chiara Laici and Lorenza Orlandini

Abstract

This article presents “Avanguardie Educative” (http://avanguardieeducative.indire.it/), a cultural movement founded to gather the most significant experiences of organizational and educational innovation in Italian schools and encourage transformation of the traditional lecture-based school model. With the aim of supporting an innovation process that has emerged from bottom -up reasoning, INDIRE (National Institute for Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research) and 22 founder member schools (advanced schools) have produced a manifesto based on seven pillars that inspired the “Gallery of 12 Ideas” -experiences of innovation re-elaborated by researchers based on experience gained in certain Italian schools, which, some time ago, began to gradually change the organization, school time and space for teaching in ways that would encourage pupils to take an active role in teaching -learning processes. The Avanguardie Educative movement currently includes 416 schools that are trying out the ideas, with support from the advanced schools and INDIRE, aided by a blended coaching process designed to build a professional community of practice.

Open access

Laura Fedeli

Abstract

Peer review is a consolidated procedure in the academic context and its process affects various range of research outputs from project funding applications to manuscript publication. Peer review can be developed through modalities that imply a different level of transparency in the relationship between anonymity of the author and the reviewer/s.

With the development of social media and the growth of scientific online communities, new forms of peer review have acquired a recognised value, matching the need of the academy to rely on selected reviewers and the need of the prospective author to get a richer feedback from a variety of scholars through different means, open comments and/or discussion fora, and always accessible online.

Hybrid forms of review, which can integrate a formal peer review with an open comment opportunity on the Web, proved successful for both improving the author’s draft and enhancing its chances of publication and for the reviewers who can use this valuable activity to enrich their reputation by collecting and showing their reviews as research output. In this framework, quality, transparency and reputation acquire new nuances in their connection with the process of research validation.

Open access

Filippo Bruni

Abstract

As continually greater attention is given to the processes of gamification, the dimension pertaining to evaluation must also be focussed on the purpose of avoiding ineffective forms of banalisation. In reference to the evidence-based approach proposed by Mayer and in highlighting its possibilities and limits, an experiment is herein presented related to teacher training, in which we attempt to unite some traits of the processes of gamification to a first evaluation screen. The data obtained, if they seem on the one hand, indicate an overall positive perception on the part of the attendees, on the other though, they indicate forms of resistance and of saturation with respect to both the excessively competitive mechanisms and the peer evaluation procedures.

Open access

Giampaolo Chiappini

Abstract

This article provides a methodology with two potential applications: to prove useful to maths teachers for analysing and evaluating the educational potential of different digital artefacts and to help designers of maths learning artefacts to evaluate their design during the implementation phase. The educational potential of an artefact is considered as an entity determined by actions and representations structure available within the artefact, the interpretation and behaviour of who uses it and the features of the activity in which it is used. The proposed methodology is based on the notions of affordance, narrative and cycle of expansive learning. The methodology has been applied on AlNuSet, a system designed for supporting the teaching and learning of algebra by means of modalities of interaction that are of visual, spatial and motor nature.

Open access

Nicoletta Di Blas

Abstract

This paper presents a powerful tool to enhance research in education: ‘exploratory portals’, supporting effective storage, sharing and exploration of large sets of research data. The workflow is the following: data are gathered by a research group; they are then classified according to a taxonomy (the one that best fits the group’s research interest); once uploaded in the portal, they can be ‘explored’ via a combination of faceted search (enriched by Boolean operators) and data mining techniques. The system can thus answer in a few seconds to sophisticated user’s queries that otherwise would require hours; it can save a session’s results and materials for sharing with other scholars or for further investigation. The paper presents a case study of exploratory portal, dealing with data on (technology-based) education. The portal has effectively been used by five different research groups, to run complex investigations of data about technology integration into schools.

Open access

Di Tore Stefano and Sibilio Maurizio

Abstract

The study illustrates the design, prototyping and production stages of an educational software aimed at promoting the development of social skills in autistic pupils attending the Italian primary school. The educational design of the proposed activities within the software was created on the basis of the theory of simplexity, while the design of the forms of interaction of the activities was constructed on the basis of the tasks proposed in the educational programme for autistic individuals by Patricia Howlin. The research project aims to achieve two objectives: creating an educational freeware software designed to foster the development of social skills in autistic pupils attending Italian primary schools; assessing if and to what extent the introduction of a technological variable can determine changes in terms of teaching effectiveness in Howlin’s programme.

Open access

Valentina Pennazioa and Andrea Traversob

Abstract

This paper presents a research experience (case study) on the use of digital technologies for the development of the ability to invent stories for images in a collaborative way, in some nurseries (0-3 years) and in some kindergartens in La Spezia. We have involved in the experience: the sections of the older children of the nursery (3 years); the heterogeneous sections of kindergarten, with the aim of presenting different educational activities and technologies (PC, tablet, projector ...) - prepared by educators-teachers and researchers - in an immersive environment to enable children to enter into the image and interact with it. The collaborative activities have also predicted the use of i- Theatre, an interactive integrated system for the narrative creation of multimedia stories. During the activities, educators and researchers conducted free observations that aim to bring out possible elements of transferability of the experience and set the second stage of work (model of research-training).

Open access

Giovanni Bonaiuti

Abstract

Networking is not only essential for success in academia, but it should also be seen as a natural component of the scholarly profession. Research is typically not a purely individualistic enterprise. Academic social network sites give researchers the ability to publicise their research outputs and connect with each other. This work aims to investigate the use done by Italian scholars of 11/D2 scientific field. The picture presented shows a realistic insight into the Italian situation, although since the phenomenon is in rapid evolution results are not stable and generalizable.