Computing At School Festival (Heraklion)

Computing at School Festival (http://www.digifest.info) is a computing teachers’ initiative that brings together thousands of students in Greece who express themselves through computing.

Computing teachers, in primary and secondary schools, during the whole school year, help their students to make animations, movies and digital artefacts, to program computers, mobile devices, automata and robots. Therefore, students are no more ICT consumers. They become creators through Computing and STEM.

Our event is not a competition. It is a festival. That means every student that participates is a winner. Students don’t have to compete, they cooperate. There is no stress to win. Perhaps, that is why every year nearly 6000 students in 16 cities all over Greece, collaborate, create and present their digital work. It is also a free, open to society event and tens of thousands visit it.

Computing at School Festival brings together students and their teachers with University students and teachers, Research Institutes and related NGO’s for the same good reasons:

  • to celebrate children’s digital creativity and
  • make children comprehend their world and build their own digital future

That’s why in the Festival, apart from presentation of students’ work, there are also workshops, demos, few speeches and various other fun learning activities.

Computing At school Festival in Heraklion (ira.digifest.info) took place from 11 to 13 of April 2019. More than 1000 students created and presented their computing projects. Apart from students’ presentations and demos, some very interesting and unique STEM learning activities took place:

  1. Make a Game (for) 2 Workshop: Families, through playing ancient board games from all over the world and through creating new ones, were trained in soft skills and computational thinking. By Dr. Dimitris Grammenos, Principal Researcher at the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas
  2. Escape The S.T.E.M Version 2019, Innovative Escape Rooms for students. Experiential learning and Internet of Things in STEM Education. By computing teacher Leonidas Papadakis and his colleagues. Official website : http://escapestem.org/.
    Prezi : http://prezi.com/o_ril8be56jm/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
  3. Machine Learning for kids Workshop: Students were introduced in Machine Learning using machinelearningforkids.co.uk tool and coding with Scratch to train and communicate with IBM Watson AI System. By computing teacher Elpida Lagoudaki.
  4. Code Hunting: A game based on the classic “treasure hunt” scheme, in which teams of players compete against each other reaching locations and solving coding puzzles as fast as they can. http://codehunting.games/. Localized for Greece and organized on behalf of the Computing At School Festival in Heraklion by computing teachers John Diamantakis, Alexis Tzormpatzakis and Ioanna Zikou
  5. RadioLab: Students were introduced in FM radio broadcasting and internet radio streaming using raspberry pi, arduino and other hardware parts. By computing teacher Spiros Vasilakis. http://radiolab.pliroforiki.info

We believe that we have shown that there is a way to foster project-based learning and creativity in STEM Education using curriculum activities along with extra-curriculum activities. We believe that the students that participate in the Festival through computing curriculum and project-based learning:

  • become digital competent
  • understand the digital aspects of our world better
  • acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes for a positive and sustainable development of technology
  • develop attitudes of a responsible citizen
This entry was posted in 2019, Uncategorized by Giorgos Panselinas. Bookmark the permalink.
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About Giorgos Panselinas

Giorgos Panselinas holds a degree in Computer Science (1992), a Master’s degree in Education (Didactics of Computer Science) (2000) from the University of Crete Greece, a PhD degree in Education (ICT in Education) from the University of Patras Greece (2006) and a second Master’s degree in Adult Education (2014) from the Hellenic Open University. He has been a teacher of Computing in Greek secondary education since 1994. He has been a school advisor/school coordinator in Primary&Secondary Education since 2007. He has worked in a number of R&D Projects relevant to design, development, and assessment of educational software, Information and Communication technologies (ICT) in Education, STEM and Computing in Education. He has many publications in journals and conferences. He is the Editor and co-author of the formal school book “Computing Applications”. He is the Editor of the training material of the “train the trainers” Pan-hellenic Course for ICT/Computer Science teachers’ trainers. He is the founder and main coordinator of the Pan-Hellenic Computing at School Festival (www.digifest.info). He is a Scientix Ambassador, an EU Code Week Leading Teacher and also a Hundred Ambassador.

2 thoughts on “Computing At School Festival (Heraklion)

  1. This is one of those events that make a huge difference on local communities and cultivate student digital competency through participation. Participating in this festival has been a great experience for our students, to visit so many STEM activities and exhibitions of projects, to learn about them from the creators/students themselves, to get in touch with professionals and it certainly motivated quite a few students. We will definitely come again next year, to build on the ideas and inspiration this festival has offered alongside our curriculum activities.

  2. As one of the co-ordinators of the Heraclion Computing at School Festival I can attest to its successful implementation. In Heraklion the Festival was held on three consecutive days and 1050 students with 141 teaches from more than 54 schools worked on more than 76 projects.
    The students get both a 5 minute presentation in from of their peers and a stand to showcase their work for a whole day. Kids love to explain their projects in detail and you an see they are really involved.

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