Today is the first meeting of our new think tank on the teaching of informatic, and its didactic. This group is called IDEES (Informatique: Didactique Et EnseignementS), and despite its pompous name, it is rather informal for now. The thing is that there is several teachers of CS here at LORIA seeking to improve their teaching. This is not completely surprising: Nancy was part of very first attempt to teach computing in high school, back in the seventies. Since then, this problematic never completely disappeared, even if it's not very strong recently. It explains for example why the ESIAL (school for engineers of IT and CS) were formed here, or why the INRIA built one of its 9 centers here in Nancy (btw, these two last items explain why I came in Nancy although I knew nobody 400km around and the weather is quite awful here).

Enough historical explanation. This afternoon we have our first meeting. The goal is to discuss what exactly we want to do in the group, and how in practice. Among other things, I think we should read articles of CS Education Research (CSER), and share our newly acquired knowledge. This is because all of us are CS specialists, we have no CSER specialist in our lab. I feel excited by all this stuff waiting for us to learn...

To start the group, I decided to present an article presenting a methodology easing the task of defining what to teach and how. I feel it very handy since we are exactly in the process of defining what should be teach during the specialization on informatic in french high schools that begins next year. There is an official program, but it's so vast that the teachers will probably have to do hard choices in practice. They ask us for help (since some of us are their teachers this year), but it's an hard question. Like I said, we are CS specialists and not CSER, and our experience as a group to teach CS to non-specialist is very limited. That is why it is quite the perfect timing for this article. Another good point is that this is an open publication article, that you can retrieve without restriction.

This work was extended in the PhD thesis of Mara Saeli.

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Just in case, the sources of the presentation are available here.