Laura Freina is a researcher at the Institute for Educational Technologies of the Italian National Research Council.
After working at the creation of Serious Games to support the acquisition of basic skills for autonomous urban mobility and social life for people with intellectual disabilities, she was involved in the definition, development and test of a virtual reality game for the consolidation of the Spatial Perspective Taking skill (i.e. the ability to imagine how a scene looks like from another's point of view). The skill is closely related to academic success in STEM related subjects. In the 2016-17 school year, she coordinated a project on the use of entertainment games to enhance some basic skills in primary school students.
Since 2017, she has been involved in to the introduction of computational thinking and coding in primary schools, and their integration with the other subjects. As part of this activity, she is involved in a longitudinal project in collaboration with some Italian primary schools. At the same time, she organized some training courses focused on coding in compulsory education, both in various editions of the specialization course for support teachers organized by DISFOR (University of Genova), and in the design and implementation of distance training courses for in service teachers.
She was involved in the following projects:
- Smart Angel: promoting urban mobility and autonomous life for people with the Down syndrome.
- Smart Home: supporting autonomous living for people with Down syndrome.
- Città Educante
- AI-MEMO: Cognitive stimulation games on smart-phones for monitoring people at risk of Alzheimer's
- Computational thinking
- ALT-ER 2.0: resilient learning environments for 4-6 year olds to support their entry into school by reducing early school leaving.