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2013 Best Practices in Education Award

Informatics Education in Primary and Secondary Schools

October 2013 - Award Winners and Ceremony at the ECSS 2013

A team from Romania, led by Zoltan Katai, from the Sapientia University and a team from Poland, led by Maciej Sysło, from the Warsaw School of Computer Science, shared the 2013 Best Practices in Education Award, organized by Informatics Europe and sponsored by Microsoft, with focus this year on Informatics Education in Primary and Secondary Schools.

The Award ceremony was held in Amsterdam, as part of the ECSS 2013 program, where the winners had the opportunity to present the achievements of their educational efforts.

The winners were selected by a committee composed of top international experts chaired by Prof. Walter Gander from ETH Zurich. A number of excellent proposals were received by the committee, which had the difficult task to select the winners in the evaluation process that run from March to August 2013.

The evaluation committee praised the originality of the proposal by Zoltan Katai, Laszlo Toth and Alpar Karoly Adorjani "Multi-Sensory Informatics Education". Mixing algorithms learning with sensory experience is a very innovative teaching experiment. The key concept of this proposal is Computer Science education for all, using a creative approach. The committee was impressed and appreciated this approach of abstracting away almost all details that might hinder understanding the idea or principle of an algorithm or a paradigm. The enactments thus not only can be used flexible in teaching environments irrespective of a particular programming- or spoken-language but can be used as a starting point for the teacher to drill down into more technical concepts. Another particularity of the  project is its inter-cultural character - sorting algorithms illustrated by Central European folk dancing, algo-rythmics (see: http://algo-rythmics.ms.sapientia.ro and http://www.youtube.com/AlgoRythmics).

Maciej Sysło, Andrzej Żyławski and Justyna Gołaszewska received the award for the outstanding education initiative "Outreach to Prospective Informatics students: Informatyka +".The proposal was praised by the evaluation committee for being an impressive large-scale project developed in an entire country (Poland) over many years by a large number of contributors. Poland has been one of the most active countries in teaching informatics in schools. The committee was impressed by the emphasis on teaching basic concepts to all students. There is compelling evidence that this outreach approach is effective and can serve as excellent model for many other countries.

The photos below show the winners Zoltan Katai (top) and Maciej Sysło (bottom) receiving the award plaque from the president of Informatics Europe, Prof. Carlo Ghezzi, during the Award Ceremony in Amsterdam.




March 2013- Call for Participation

Informatics Europe proudly announces its 2013 Best Practices in Education Award devoted to initiatives promoting informatics education in primary and secondary schools.

The Informatics Europe Best Practices in Education Award recognizes outstanding European educational initiatives that improve the quality of informatics teaching and the attractiveness of the discipline, and can be applied and extended beyond their institutions of origin.

The Award will reward a successful teaching effort in Europe that:

  •  has made a measurable difference in informatics education in schools
  •  is widely applicable and useful for the teaching community
  •  has made a measurable impact in its original institution and beyond it

The 2013 Award is devoted to curriculum initiatives for promoting informatics in schools as a mandatory subject for all students. The Award will honor original contributions who emphasize successful initiatives for teaching of informatics fundamentals in schools. Experiences and reports showing how to use software or hardware tools in order to improve learning in other disciplines than informatics will not be considered.

Examples of impact include course results, student projects, textbooks, influence on the curriculum of other schools.

The 2013 Award is devoted to curriculum initiatives promoting informatics education in primary and secondary schools and funded through a generous grant from Microsoft.

The Award carries a prize of EUR 5,000.00

The Award can be given to an individual or to a group. To be eligible, participants must be located in one of the member or candidate member countries of the Council of Europe (www.coe.int), or Israel. Members of the Informatics Europe Board and of the Award Committee are not eligible.
The Award Committee will review and evaluate each proposal. It reserves the right to split the prize between at most two di fferent proposals (individuals or teams).

The proposal should include:

  •  Names and addresses of the applicant or applicants;
  •  Indication of whether the submission is on behalf of an individual or a group;
  •  Description of the achievements (max 5 pages);
  •  Evidence of availability of the curriculums materials to the teaching community (max 2  pages);
  •  Evidence of impact (max 5 pages);
  •  A reference list (which may include URLs of supporting material);
  •  One or two letters of support. The letters of support may come for example from school management or colleagues in the same or another institution.

Proposals submition closed.


Abstract: May 1, 2013
Full proposal: June 1, 2013
Noti cation of winner(s): August 1, 2013

The Award will be presented at the 9th European Computer Science Summit, in Amsterdam, 8-9 October 2013, where the winner or winners (one representative in the case of an institution) will be invited to give a talk on their achievements.

Award Committee:

  • Walter Gander (Chair)
  • Antoine Petit (Vice-Chair)
  • Avi Mendelson
  • Barbara Demo
  • Jan Vahrenhold
  • Juraj Hromkovic
  • Alexander Repenning
  • Gérard Berry

Further inquires:

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