Valentina Dagiene, Head of IOI Conference, editor-in-chief of the journal Olympiads in Informatics, professor at Vilnius University (Lithuania)
IOI 2016 falls on a significant date, as it marks the 10th anniversary of the IOI Conference. In 2007 the IOI community made the decision to hold a conference for team leaders and deputy team leaders of IOI participating countries. The conference was created as a platform for sharing different countries’ experiences in developing gifted schoolchildren in the field of IT and holding national olympiads in informatics. The journal Olympiads in Informatics also came about as a result of the conference, and contains articles on olympiad informatics, methods of teaching IT in schools and innovative models of IT education.
It could be said that over these 10 years the conference and journal have formed a scientific and pedagogical IOI community, one which actively develops unique methodological experience in the field of school and olympiad informatics and which is open to all countries. On the website www.ioinformatics.org there is an electronic archive of journal articles presented at IOI Conferences for all 10 years.
There are two editions of the journal at IOI 2016 – a tenth-anniversary edition and a special edition detailing Russia’s experience of school informatics. The special edition was initiated and edited by Marina Tsvetkova (Moscow, Academy for Improved Qualifications, www.apkpro.ru), who is also team leader of the Russian team. Much work is done in Russia to improve the quality of IT teaching in schools, but unfortunately abroad we know little about the work of Russian academics and Russian teaching methods for informatics. The IOI Conference, which features team leaders from the 87 countries participating in the International Olympiad, is an excellent opportunity to learn first-hand how Russia is training its future specialists in IT. Russia’s experience is also valuable as the Russian team is consistently one of the top performers at the International Olympiad in Informatics.