Introduction

    Speakers’ Corner

    June 1st, 2010 by Dirk Stieglitz

    Speakers’ Corner is a space for Pontydysgu associates and guest bloggers. It includes the following bloggers.

    Ana García Muñoz

    My name is Ana García Muñoz and I´m from Spain. I´m a Sociologist and I have worked, among others, in European projects in VET. My research interest include informal learning, the changing roles and competences of teachers and trainers with special attention to emergent profiles including acreditation models. In the blog I want to reflect the current Spanish situation in this field in reation with the European landscape.

    My Learning Journey

    Cristina Costa’s learning journey……..

    Jo’s Blog

    Jo Turner-Attwell is an intern at Pontydysgu who is discovering she has more to write in a blog than she originally thought.

    Ange’s Blog

    Angela Rees is a researcher and teacher based in Pontypridd in Wales. Her research intersets include e-learning, special education and learning difficulties and dyslexia.

    Daniela’s Blog

    Daniala Reimann’s blog on Media Arts Education focuses on interdisciplinary approaches in media, arts and education at school and university level.

    Dialogos

    Maria Perifanou has been working as an Italian language teacher for the last ten years and a researcher in the field of Applied Linguistics since 2002. She also works as an e-learning trainer for language teachers. She has participated in several European research summer and winter schools, workshops, conferences. She is also a member of different European research networks such as the TENCompetence Network and the Network of the European Technology of Enhanced Learning.

    User Design Blog

    This blog is written by Anuraj Dadhich. He is from Assam in India and is spending a summer internship with the University of Bremen and Pontydysgu. Anuraj is a student in Interaction Design.

    Speakers' Corner

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    TACCLE 3: CODING

    August 13th, 2015 by Daniela Reimann

    TACCLE 3 Coding is a new research project which looks at Teachers’ Aids on Creating Content for Learning Environments in the field of coding. It is funded (from 9/2015 to 8/2017) under the European Commission’s Erasmus+ program, key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices.

    The project’s aims are:

    • To encourage and support teachers to introduce coding, programming and / or computational thinking as part of the curriculum in the 4 – 14 classroom to better equip pupils to develop the skills needed by the European labor market.
    • To broaden teachers’ digital skills base and enhance their professional competence
    • To show how entrepreneurial skills can be developed and integrated with programming skills The project objectives are:
    • To produce an on-line support package of ideas, activities, materials and downloadable resources for teachers who are teaching coding or programming or who want to.
    • To provide CPD courses in a variety of formats and a template and materials for local delivery.
    • To establish a dialogue between teachers and programmers, teachers and resource producers, teachers and organizations involved in teaching coding and to act as an agency for exchanges of curricula, ideas and practice.

    The demand for ICT professionals continues to grow. The European Commission estimates there will be 700, 000 unfilled vacancies for ICT practitioners in the EU by the year 2016. Of all job vacancies in ICT, computer programmers are the most in demand outnumbering the demand for other IT professionals by a factor of 5 to 1. The greatest demand is in UK, Germany, Estonia and other Northern European countries, which reflects the make up of the project partnership.

    Despite this skills shortage, there has been limited response from the European education system. Estonia has already introduced computer programming for all ages across the school curriculum, Denmark partially so. Others are about to introduce it (such as England in 2014) and others are considering it (e.g. Finland, Ireland). Some German Länder such as Bavaria are well advanced; others are not. In other countries, whilst not part of the compulsory curriculum, there are agencies and individual teachers who are trying to introduce programming into the classroom. What seems inevitable is that all member states must surely move in this direction if they are to meet the skills demands of the European economy. The biggest problem we face is a desperate shortage of teachers. Mathematics and computer-science graduates generally choose more lucrative trades; the humanities and social-science graduates who will find themselves teaching coding will need plenty of support as will the primary teachers. In addition the OECD reports that more and more computer programmers prefer to be self-employed or working in micro-SME partnerships and not committed to one particular long-term employer and the vacancy market is beginning to reflect the increase in a new form of employment in the ICT sector. For this reason the project is looking to produce resources for developing entrepreneurship skills alongside programming skills.

    The project will:

    · Develop a website of activities and ideas that teachers can use in the classroom to teach children about coding and programming. These will support diverse curricula across member states and, where there is no formal curriculum, support individual schools and teachers who want to introduce computing / informatics / programming etc. in their own practice
    · Develop some affordable resource kits that can be downloaded or for which instructions for making them can be provided on-line. This could result in selling the resource kits after the project as part of the exploitation and sustainability.
    · Design and pilot some staff development opportunities and learning resources for teachers who are total newcomers to programming.
    · Stimulate a positive attitude towards STEM with young children
    · Test and evaluate existing resources such as the range of software currently available to help children develop programming skills.
    · Explore and follow up existing research and projects addressing this issue (e.g. work on Tangible User Interface for children.)
    · Enter into policy dialogue and inform policy in countries around issues concerning the teaching and learning of programming in schools” (source: project proposal).

    Co-ordinator: Jens Vermeersch, adjunct van de directeur, GO! Onderwijs van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, afdeling Beleid & Strategie, Internationalisation, Brussels

    Project partners:
    IBP/KIT, Germany
    Pontydysgu, Wales, U.K.,
    SGR Antigon Schoöengroep 1, Antwerpen, Belgium
    HITSA HariDUE INFOTHHNOLOGIA SIHTASUTUS, Research centre, Tallinn, Estonia
    TALLINN University, Tallinn, Estonia
    UNIVERSiDAD DE SALAMANCA, Spain
    AALTO UNIVERSITY, Helsinki, Finland
    University of Eastern Finland, School of Computing, KUOPIO, Finland

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    #blimage

    July 27th, 2015 by Angela Rees
    Curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out what the #blimage was going on in my Twitter feed. Turns out there’s some viral edu-blogging going on. Give someone a picture and challenge them to turn it into a learning related post. This youtube video from the originator @AmyBurvall explains it nicely. […]

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    Wales National Digital Learning Event 2015

    July 15th, 2015 by Angela Rees
    Jen and I went along to the National Digital Learning Event and Awards in Cardiff earlier in June. We handed out Taccle books and went to some workshops. There were a few to choose from but I attended a technocamps session which explored some ways of teaching computer science using lego bricks, (build a simple lego structure, now explain to your partner how to build an identical structure without them seeing what you have built) using people, (direct your person around the room using simple commands) and using Cargo Bot. I like what technocamps do, kit like Lego Mindstorms is pretty expensive, so they take the kit around to secondary schools and colleges across Wales for one day workshops. For lots of ideas about how to teach computing, coding and programming for the rest of the year you could check out the Taccle2 blog and the Babitech page. In the afternoon I had fun playing with Sonic Pi , which uses code for composing and performing music, you can see me in the video below (just after the 2 minute mark) getting flustered because there was a mistake in my loop. Don't let that put you off, it was really good fun and a great way to get instant and useful results form your code. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRq1W7ffdDE?rel=0] The best thing about the day was seeing the great things being done across Wales with Ponty locals Big Click scooping the Commercial Digital Project Award [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRVhWD9sjkY?rel=0] You can see all of the other inspirational kids and teachers getting their tech on at the Hwb website with projects like e-safety, coding with minecraft, creating an interactive local map and staging a robot wars competition. Keep an eye out for next years entries, Welsh kids are good with technology, the competition should be tough!

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    On the BabiTech iPhone

    July 15th, 2015 by Angela Rees
    Originally posted on Babi Tech:
    I’m sure you’re all dying to know which apps made it to the current BabiTech list. If there’s something missing that Babis 1 and 2 really need to have, stick it in the comments and we’ll try it out. Toca Boca Toca Boca’s Hair Xmas, Toca Builders, Toca Band, Toca…

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    London Tech Week 2015

    July 1st, 2015 by Angela Rees
    I had a pretty exciting and busy couple of days in London during their annual technology week. Straight off the train I met Vini from Quizalize which is hands down the best online quiz creator for educators I have used yet with the added bonus feature of live feedback. I don’t think they are embeddable but […]

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    Fundraising Guide

    March 13th, 2015 by Angela Rees

    The RadioActive project has produced a Funding Guide with lots of great ideas to raise money to get your internet radio show up and running.

    We’re not saying you’ll need the money but it’s always nice to have a helping hand with the overheads and new equipment.

    Check it out here

    crowdfund1


    Filed under: RadioActive

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    Internet Radio as an educational intervention

    February 3rd, 2015 by Angela Rees

    The EU funded RadioActive project is in its final days but that doesn’t mean we are suffering from RadioActive decay! Shows are set to continue with our prize winning Portuguese partners securing funding for another year, UEL funded Post grad courses, DragonHall and co.in the UK have made the RadioActive system their usual way of working and there’s no stopping the teams at Deichstadt Radio and KO-N-RAD in Germany.

    Along with the great radio shows and podcasts we have produced a number of useful products;

    • Future Facilitators’ Guide – Online, offline and audio guides for anyone wishing to join in.
    • ePub and pdf versions of RadioActive Practices – a report containing many of the common practices developed and refined by participants and RadioActive researchers across this European partnership over the last two years.  And there are several examples of the significant impact felt by some of the individuals who became ‘radio-activists’ along the way.
    • The Training Suite with Technical, Journalism and Organisational hints tips and tutorials.
    • A Moodle course explaining the digital badge system and curriculum
    • A RadioActive curriculum which details many of the activities completed whilst making Internet Radio and cross matches them with the EU Lifelong Learning Key Competecies.

    For more information and a wealth of other resources, check out radioactive101.eu or follow @RadioActive101 or like us on Facebook


    Filed under: RadioActive Tagged: internet radio, RadioActive

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    Tackling tricky topics – Cyber Bullying

    January 30th, 2015 by Angela Rees

    Originally posted on Babi Tech:

    Cyber bullying is when someone uses technology like texting, online chat rooms and social networks to bully someone. Children may find it hard to talk about cyber-bullying so it’s important to let them know that they can talk to you about anything.

    Top tips for broaching the subject;

    Stay calm. Children need to know that you’ll listen without judging or threatening to deal with a bully yourself.

    Conversation starters;

    Who’s sent you a message today? What did you talk about?

    How to deal with it;

    Keep the evidence, find out how to take screen shots on http://www.take-a-screenshot.org

    Don’t punish the victim by removing internet access or phone use as fear of this may prevent children from wanting to tell you if something is going on.

    Do monitor internet access and phone use and take an active interest in what’s going on.

    Don’t feed the trolls. As with all bullies, ignoring…

    View original 91 more words


    Filed under: Dissertation distractions ;-)

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    RadioActive 101 presents ‘Mental Health and Young People: Experiences and Perspectives’

    January 30th, 2015 by Angela Rees

    Live show 7PM, Friday 30 Jan 2015
    radioactive101.org
    RadioActive101: Learning through radio, learning for life!

    RadioActive 101 presents ‘Mental Health and Young People: Experiences and Perspectives’. In this show we explore what different groups of young people in the UK think about mental health, discussing their experiences and giving their perspectives on perceived differences in help and support for mental health issues at school and college.
    The show is hosted by Tom Gerken from the University of East London (UEL) and goes out to you, live at 7pm on Friday 30 Jan 2015.

    Go to the website radioactive101.org and click ‘Listen Live’

    http://listenlive.radioactive101.eu

    Connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RadioActive101
    Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/RadioActive101


    Filed under: RadioActive Tagged: RadioActive

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    Tackling tricky topics – Adult content

    January 21st, 2015 by Angela Rees

    A:

    More from my O2 guru content – this is part one of Tricky Topics and how to approach them with young people.

    Originally posted on Babi Tech:

    Let’s face it, no one wants to talk to their children about adult content. In fact if we were playing cringe-worthy-parent-moments top-trumps, porn beats them all. The trouble is, no matter how good our home internet parental controls are, you only need to walk around the magazine aisle of a supermarket to expose your child to an abundance of sexualized images. It’s something we need to talk about and I’d rather brave my inevitable blushes than let someone else talk to my kids about it first.

    Top tips for broaching the subject;

    Keep it age appropriate, if your children are very young, you can talk to them about respect for their own body and respect for other people. You can also reassure them that they can talk to you about anything.

    Prepare yourself;

    Think about what messages you do and don’t want to get across to your child. You…

    View original 88 more words


    Filed under: Dissertation distractions ;-)

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