Ancona, Italy The second edition of the FabLearn Italy conference took place on Nov. 20-22, 2019 in Ancona, Italy. The event was part of the activities of the FabLearn program, a maker education initiative of the TLTL, one aspect of which supports a global network of conferences which bring together key influencers and thought-leaders from around the world in education, policy-making, academia, design, research, and maker communities to learn, present, and discuss digital fabrication in education, maker culture, hands-on learning, and instructional tools. FabLearn conferences have been held in 14 different countries on 5 continents since 2011. (Read about FabLearn here.)

The FabLearn Italy 2019 conference was organized by Prof. David Scaradozzi from the Università Politecnica delle Marche and Lorenzo Guasti from INDIRE (the research are of the Italian Ministry of Education). Since 2018, the conference tripled in size, with over 250 participants and 52 research papers presented. Seven keynote speakers addressed the audience on a variety of topics related to maker education and ethics issues in technology, AI, computer science education, and educational innovation.

Due to the efforts of the organizers to make the event accessible, and thanks to a government grant (“Progetto Coding e Robotica”) the event was free to all participants. In FabLearn conference fashion, the event included not only researchers and educational practitioners but also children who presented and shared their work throughout the three days. This year, FabLearn Italy also hosted the Marche Drone Week and was supported by the European Robotics Week.

The growth of the Italian maker education movement was clear at the event, with a host of research papers presented including studies of maker education using new advanced research methods such as AI and machine learning. The conference also had many teachers sharing best practices with their peers, including FabLearn Fellow Angela Sofia, a star in the Italian maker education movement. 

The FabLearn Italy 2019 is associated to the global FabLearn initiative, that advocates and supports constructionist learning experiences for all children. FabLearn is based on the work of Columbia University Associate Professor Paulo Blikstein and the Transformative Learning Technologies Lab (TLTL).