By Isabella Corradini, Michael Lodi and Enrico Nardelli
In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education - Pages 224-229
In this paper the first two years of activities of "Programma il Futuro" project are described. Its goal is to disseminate among teachers in Italian primary and secondary schools a better awareness of informatics as the scientific basis of digital technologies. The project has adapted Code.org learning material and has introduced it to Italian schools with the support of a dedicated web site. Response has been enthusiastic in terms of participation: in two years more than one million students have been engaged and have completed a total of 10 million hours of informatics in schools. Almost all students found the material useful and were interested, teachers have reported. They have also declared to have experienced high satisfaction and a low level of difficulty. A detailed analysis of quantitative and qualitative data about the project is presented and areas for improvement are identified. One of the most interesting observations appears to corroborate the hypothesis that an exposure to informatics since the early age is important to attract students independently from their gender.