The “Jupyter Notebooks for Education” project
Introducing computational thinking into the curriculum is part of EPFL’s strategic orientations for education. With an exponential diffusion across disciplines, Jupyter Notebooks have become the tool of choice for computational problem solving and investigation from sciences to engineering right through to humanities. By weaving computation with disciplinary content, Jupyter Notebooks implement computational thinking in practice.
The goal of the “Jupyter Notebooks for Education” project is twofold: provide easy access to Jupyter Notebooks for students and support instructors with the best designs and use in class. Sponsored by the Associate Vice Presidency for Education, the project is carried out by the LEARN, CAPE and CEDE centres with a financial contribution from SwissUniversities as part of the P-8 programme “Digital Skills”.
Easy access to Jupyter Notebooks online with a centralized JupyterLab platform
Created and launched early 2019, our centralized JupyterLab platform for education noto, is the first result of the project. Designed with a scalable architecture, noto has grown fast and has doubled its cumulated number of users every year since launch. In September 2023, noto serves more than 500 different users per day on average, and we have reached 12 000 cumulated lifetime users!
We constantly search for the libraries and extensions that are most adapted to education and monitor their updates to offer a state-of-the-art environment to teachers and students.
Discover noto, our JupyterLab platform for education.
Without configuring your computer or installing libraries, you’ll get a private workspace and free computing.
Evidence-informed and data-driven pedagogical support
Along the infrastructure component of the project, we have put in place a pedagogical support service for teachers developing educational notebooks. Our work methodology involves a) providing teachers with up-to-date information based on the latest results from education research and b) assisting teachers in the collection of data on the use of notebooks by students.
Using this evidence-informed and data-driven approach, we have accompanied more than 30 teaching teams between 2019 and 2021.
Research on the impact of Jupyter Notebooks on student learning
We contribute to the body of knowledge on the use of Jupyter Notebooks in education by carrying out research on the impact of notebooks on student learning. In a joint effort with the EPFL Center for Learning Sciences (LEARN), we perform different types of studies to investigate how notebooks are used by teachers and how they can help students develop computational thinking skills and learn concepts in other disciplines through computation activities.