For a Human-Centered AI

EDUCA: The program of the 9th edition

April 6, 2018

The guests of the Educa festival "Educational Algorithms. Responsibility and critical thinking in the time of technologies ", to be held April 13-15 in Rovereto was presented. Three days to try to understand the effects of technologies on educational relationships in the family, at school and in the community and to find the right way to navigate the sea of digital complexity

From April 13 to 15 in Rovereto, thanks to the contribution of national experts and scholars and to the presentation of innovative practices, we will try, through a multidisciplinary agenda, to better frame the relationship between education, relationships and digital technologies. The ninth edition of the EDUCA Festival is dedicated to this delicate and crucial topic and is entitled “EDUCATIONAL ALGORITHMS. Responsibility and critical thinking in the time of new technologies “. Health, communication, training, jobs and artificial intelligence; These are just some of the topics that will be addressed during the festival through workshops, debates, focus groups, art events and games. The guests, who were presented today together with the full program, include Dr Alberto Pellai, psychologist Matteo Lancini, pediatrician Silvia Gregory, youtubers Claudio Di Biagio and Matteo Fumagalli, journalists and writers Paolo Pagliaro and Edoardo Segantini and the Jobs 4.0 scholar Francesco Seghezzi. And lawyer Alessia Sorgato, mathematician Carlo Toffaroli and many experts in digital education and school innovation including publisher Alessandro Laterza, professors Piero Dominici, Piercesare Rivoltella and Stefano Tramma.

To the question “what is the thing you pat the most in a day?”, many, if not all, would reply today: my smartphone. This is enough to make people understand the relevance of digital technologies in everyday life. What has become almost an extension of the body, along with PCs, tablets, web and social media, is changing the way we relate to others, the processes by which we learn, memorize and build knowledge. An epochal revolution, an anthropological one in the view of some, which, apart from the contrast between catastrophists and enthusiasts, remains difficult to understand as discussions focus more on the skills needed to use the new tools than on their impact. Today there is a high risk of reasoning by stereotypes and prejudices that generate only anxiety and fear. Instead, we need a critical reflection that helps parents and teachers, adults and young people, institutions and educating communities, try and grasp all the educational opportunities provided by the digital while avoiding the risks”. These are the reasons why the EDUCA Promoting Committee, together with the Scientific Board, has chosen to dedicate the ninth edition of the Festival to this delicate and crucial topic: “Educational Algorithms. Responsibility and critical thinking in the time of new technologies “.  [PRESS RELEASE] April 13-15 in Rovereto, thanks to the contribution of national experts and scholars and to the presentation of innovative practices, we will try, through a multidisciplinary agenda, to better frame the relationship between education, relationships and digital technologies.

Health, communication, training, jobs and artificial intelligence; These are just some of the topics that will be addressed during the festival through workshops, debates, focus groups, art events and games. Insights on specific topics that, however, will always contain the two key words of the subtitle of this ninth edition of EDUCA: responsibility and critical thinking. Words that will take on special importance in the festival’s opening event on Friday, April 13 at 2.30 pm. After the morning events, dedicated exclusively to schools, we will try to reflect on how we are transforming participation in common life. The opportunities for expression opened up by the new media, unheard of until a few years ago, appeared as chances to become citizens of the world; today they seem to have generated a new communication alphabet that favors simplification, superficiality and immediacy. And so, civic engagement risks to last the instant of a post or a tweet in a perspective in which the ego becomes the only parameter of judgment. We will try to understand which are the ways that, by integrating technologies, allow to revitalize the responsibility for the common good together with Francesco Rutelli, author of “Contro gli immediati” (Against the immediate) that will exchange views with Ugo Rossi, President of the Autonomous Province of Trento and groups of students, moderated by father Francesco Viganò.

Growing up digital, between health and education
How can adults learn to accompany children and teenagers in the correct use of new technologies at different ages? This is a question that many parents, who are aware that family represents for children the first model on how to deal with and stay in the world and that digital literacy does not escape this scheme, ask themselves. Watching mom and dad, older siblings but also their grandparents, children start to use the technology that surrounds them from an early age. To avoid the confrontation between tech-freaks and ctechnophobes, we will start from the objectivity of the data that first show its spread as in the research promoted by the Trieste Child Health Center together with the National Pediatricians Association that will be represented by researcher Valeria Balbinot and those reported in “Zeta Generation” edited by IPRASE. The objective picture will be enriched by the contributions of doctors, psychologists and educators on the risks for children and adolescents’ mental and physical health from using technology – as it will often emerge – excessively. Experts will include: on Saturday, April 14, Silvia Gregory pediatrician and author of “Children grow up. Fables and computers” and journalist Simone Cosimi who has published ” Nasci, cresci e posta” (Be born, grow up and post); and on Sunday, doctor and psychotherapist of the evolutionary age Alberto Pellai together with psychologist and psychotherapist Matteo Lancini, professor with the Milan-Bicocca University and president of the Minotauro Foundation. These talks will offer hints as to the “style of use” of new technologies by adults: what are their behaviors on the web, how much time they spend with a smartphone or a tablet, which image of themselves they offer online. This topic will be at the center of the discussion organized by the Franco Demarchi Foundation between pedagogist Stefano Tramma of the Biccoca University of Milan and the media educator Michele Marangi with whom we will try to understand whether new technologies are threatening the traditional dimensions of being adults: critical reflection, awareness, lack of responsibility, poor perception of limits.

We can prevent cyberbullying
Many events also dedicated to Internet use-related risks: those arising from the compulsive use of social networks and the constant exposure to online judgment, the dangers of sexting and cyberbullying. Meetings with the common goal of indicating to adults – in particular parents and teachers – tools and approaches that will allow them to help kids and prevent them from hurting themselves by using the web in a wrong way. This will be the case for the discussion between Paolo Picchio who will tell the story of his daughter Carolina, a suicidal victim of cyberbullying, to whom a Foundation is now dedicated; Ersilia Menesini, professor of the University of Florence who has dedicated studies and publications to the prevention and fight of this phenomenon and lawyer Alessia Sorgato that will provide detailed information on the new law on this matter.  The same topic will be tackled during a digital cafe organized by IPRASE in cooperation with the Italian Bar Foundation which will involve lawyers and teachers together and aimed at building a curriculum for digital civic education.

School and digital innovation
The technology revolution underway could not but involve the school system which has seen changes in teaching tools and contexts in the classroom. How do the new devices impact teaching? Can this be an opportunity for an educational alliance between school and family, but also between schools, businesses and the local area? Many of the festival’s events will try to answer these questions starting from university students who after a two-day challenge, in which they will work with researchers and programmers, will return their reflections to teachers and professional educators in a meeting organized by Consolida with the Agency for the family and births, which will also be attended by Professor Piercesare Rivoltella from the Catholic University of Milan, one of the leading experts in media education in Italy. On Saturday, April 14, the new book “Leadership for innovation in the school” will be presented at a meeting organized by Fondazione Bruno Kessler. The change in the education system through professional training, spaces and new technologies “with various national experts including Maria Rosa Bottino from CNR, Ludovico Albert from Fondazione per la Scuola, Giovanni Biondi president of Indire and the illustration of innovative projects such as” The student’s records”and” Artificial intelligence and innovation design “. In the background, the reflection on the need for a new educational, but especially cultural and pedagogical approach, required by the introduction of new technologies so that the school can continue to be an educational agency able to accompany young people to life and work in a context like the current one of rapid obsolescence of knowledge. This topic will also be at the center of the discussion organized in cooperation with the Festival of Economy between Francesco Profumo, president of Compagnia San Paolo and Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Alessandro Laterza, managing director of Laterza publishing house and Head of the School Division and Piero Dominici, University of Perugia. The link between training and work in the age of 4.0 will also be addressed in the discussion, promoted by Cooperazione trentina, between Edoardo Segantini, journalist of Corriere della Sera and author of the book “La nuova Chiave a stella”, with scholar Francesco Seghezzi (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and director of Fondazione ADAPT).

Virtual reality and artificial intelligence
Contributions and reflections on virtual reality and artificial intelligence are a must in a festival dedicated to digital education. Nicola De Pisapia, from the University of Trento, and Professor Daniela Villani of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan will address the former; while artificial intelligence, and in particular its impact on educational, cognitive and social processes, will be discussed by Oliviero Stock, an ICT scholar from the Bruno Kessler Foundation with national and European positions in the field.

Technologies and learning disorders
New technologies also create new opportunities for cognitive rehabilitation in cases of dyslexia, learning disorders and autism spectrum. This will be discussed by researchers from the University of Trento’s Observation and Diagnosis (ODFLab) laboratory, who will offer the public the opportunity to try out different devices, and by researcher Arianna Bentenuto, author, together with Professor Paola Venuti of the book “Studi di caso. Disturbi dello spettro autistico. Dal nido d’infanzia alla scuola primaria (Case studies. Autism spectrum disorders. From daycare to primary school”). There will also be stories of parents and people with autism told by the protagonists themselves, with documentaries and autobiographical books that have the aim of showing that In an increasingly technological era that codifies behavior and feelings by flattening the shades of what makes us human beings, the authenticity of autism paradoxically can help break the pattern, forcing people to regain an authentic interpretation of reality.

Communication and information
The new media, in this hyper-connected society, are also an extraordinary means through which the new generations convey ideas, contents and culture. This topic will be tackled in a meeting organized with Casse Rurali Trentine and their oom + project. Popular youtubers such as Claudio Di Biagio (also Rai2 Radio host and author of the book “Si stava meglio. In viaggio con mia nonna lungo un secolo di storia italiana” -We were better off. Traveling with my grandmother along a century of Italian history “) and Matteo Fumagalli known for his online video reviews. At EDUCA, we will also talk about information and how the concept of truth has become weaker in recent years: emotions matter more than facts, propaganda more than the news. How to deal with avalanches of news passing through our lives every second? How to use the contents and verify their truthfulness? Guest of honor on this topic is journalist Paolo Pagliaro, co-author, since 2008, with Lilli Gruber of the “Eight and a Half” show for which he writes the editorial, and author of the book “Punto. Fermiamo il declino dell’informazione – Period. Let us stop the decline of information “. The choice of which news to read, but also in which place to go on vacation, which books to buy and many other decisions of daily life seem today governed by algorithms. Imagined as unknown entities that control our lives they are, in fact, mathematical procedures that consist in solving a problem through a finite number of possibilities. Mathematicians Carlo Toffalori and Marco Andreatta, with the University of Camerino and Trento respectively, will explain us what they really are and how they can be used “properly”.

The full program of the discussions, as well as the many laboratories and animation activities, shows, food and nature opportunities thanks to educational farms and the companies of the Donne in Campo Association, is available at

The organizations involved
EDUCA is promoted by the Autonomous Province of Trento, the University of Trento and the Town of Rovereto, with the scientific support of Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Fondazione Franco Demarchi and IPRASE, the organizational coordination of Consolida and the support of Cooperazione Trentina and Casse Rurali Trentine. The program defined by the promoting committee is later enriched by the proposals of many educational agencies, institutions, schools, associations, cooperatives, research and cultural bodies, but also businesses. Among the organizations that contribute to this edition: Agency for the Family and Births, Trentino Film Commission, APT of Rovereto and Vallagarina, Associazione Donne in Campo; the MART museum, the Rovereto Civic Museum and MUSE; the Il Mulino publishing house, the National Forensic Council and the Italian Lawyers’ Foundation and the Autori di Immagini Association

Browse the general program and the program for schools at:
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