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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana

Research Structure 4 – Technological Applications for the Development of Laboratory Teaching

The Structure intends to study and test new tools and methods for laboratory teaching through new technologies, with particular attention to theories and practices aimed at developing interdisciplinary and transversal skills, also in view of personalised training courses.

The Structure is committed to identifying and testing technologies and methodologies to support laboratory teaching with a strong technological connotation, including most of the Institute’s technologists and programmers specialized in areas such as 3D printing, coding, robotics and virtual reality. With the introduction of the Technological Area in 2021, the Structure has further evolved in a methodological/didactic sense to distinguish itself.

We intend to deepen and experience what – more than an evolution – appears rather as an ongoing transformation of the concept of didactic laboratory by the digital world. In this perspective we find specific fields of study and actions such as computational thinking, methodologies such as neurodidactics, IDeAL and Bifocal Modelling or innovative technological developments such as dBook, dSerra or Diligo.

The research and training activities of the Structure are consistent with what has recently been required by the Recovery and Resilience Plan, which provides for the enhancement of digital teaching, and the teaching of multilingualism and STEM disciplines.

In the three-year period 2022-2024 the activities of the Structure are divided into the following four macro-areas:

Immersive Teaching

Investigates the potential of immersive technologies in educational contexts. Examples of immersive technologies are 3D viewers, haptic suits, surround sound, some types of simulators, but also a considerable section of video games, as well as the so-called “virtual worlds”.

Methodologies for laboratory teaching

Development and experimentation of methodologies capable of promoting student-centred teaching based on skills development. The laboratory teaching approach links educational projects to authentic real-world problems, exposing students to learning contexts in which they can guide their learning path and find, in a collaborative way, innovative solutions to complex problems.

Computational thinking

Computational thinking refers to aspects of active teaching methodology such as problem-based learning. The activity intends to develop computational thinking using coding and educational robotics to experiment with interdisciplinary activities and encourage the creation of more flexible curricula, also focusing on gender dynamics.


The concept of personalization includes the set of didactic strategies aimed at guaranteeing each student the use of their own form of cognitive excellence, by cultivating their own intellectual potential. Starting from the literature on evidence-based education, neurodidactics and brain-based instruction, the activity intends to investigate the role of technologies in didactic paths aimed at enhancing – since nursery school – the peculiarities of each pupil, their cognitive autonomy and their relational skills and ability to share.

General objectives

The research activities of the Structure focus on the identification and design of models, tools and methodologies focused on technologies to support the transversal and vertical curricular pathways of laboratory teaching, for the development of multi-interdisciplinary and digital skills also in view to support personalization processes and overcome the gender gap.

General questions arising from the General Objectives

  • How does the use of digital technologies help to change the environments, methodologies and practices of laboratory teaching?
  • What impact can technological tools and environments have in terms of educational success, inclusion and gender gap?

Context – Target population

The Structure collaborates with teachers in national and international contexts.

Institutional collaborations and research collaborations

  • European Schoolnet – MoE Working Group – STEM, Scientix, Stem School Label
  • UdN Université dans la Nature
  • University of Florence – Dept. Physics
  • University of Genoa – Dept. of Education Sciences
  • Polytechnic University of Marche – Dept. Information Engineering
  • University of Urbino Carlo Bo – Dept. of Pure and Applied Sciences