Archive for the ‘G8WAY’ Category

UK apprenticeships just rebranded short training courses?

November 1st, 2011 by Graham Attwell

I have written several posts about the UK government’s new apprenticeship schemes. Although welcoming the attention being paid to apprenticeship, I drew attention to concerns about the quality and length of the new programmes, questioning whether many of the programmes could really be called apprenticeships. I also drew attention to concerns that allowing any short course to be called an apprenticeship would damage the credibility of apprenticeship schemes and qualifications.

Now it seems that senior officials at the UK government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, responsible for the development of apprenticeship schemes, have expressed similar concerns.

A report in the Guardian newspaper says discussions over the past fortnight between senior officials have described politicians’ claims about the high apprentice numbers as “dishonest” as they do not reflect the actual demographics of those involved.

The Guardian says: “The government document acknowledges that problems of quality had been raised. in diminishing of quality has had been raised with them. “Growth review consultees have registered concerns about the quality of some apprenticeships, focusing in particular on the intermediate level dominated expansion, the value of some shorter apprenticeships and the increasing number of existing (older) employees in the programme.” It reports that the department has been warned “not to undermine the apprenticeship brand”.

One critic is reported as telling officials: “To badge some of the lower end training as apprenticeships misleads learners and employers as to its value.”

But while the document defends the inclusion of existing employees and older learners, it says: “If we remain committed to calling less substantial training activities an ‘apprenticeship’, it is important to be aware of the impact this may have on public perceptions of the brand.”"

In a further report the Guardian education reporter Jessica Shepherd says that “some 422,700 people started apprenticeships of all kinds in the academic year just gone – a rise of more than half on the year before when the figure was 279,700.”

However she goes on to suggest that many of these are following courses rebranded from the previous Labour government’s Train to Gain programme, scrapped after critical Audit Office reports.

“Over-25s account for 40% of the total number of new apprentices. The growth in the number of under-19s starting apprenticeship has slowed. In the last academic year, it grew by 10%, from 17.5% the year before.

Then there’s the equally problematic issue of what sectors these apprenticeships are in. Ministers want the economy to be less reliant on retail and more on construction.

But while the number of apprenticeships started in retail and commercial enterprises rose by 63% in the last academic year, there was just a 5.3% increase in those started in construction, planning and the built environment. While the number starting apprenticeships in business, administration and law grew by more than 70%, those in engineering and manufacturing technologies rose by almost a quarter.”

Has Open and Linked Data failed?

October 26th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

I am intrigued by this presentation. Whilst I appreciate what Chris Taggart, who has been invo0lved in the development of the opencorporates and openlylocal data sites (and who undoubtedly has more experience and knowledge than me of the use of Open and Linked Data) I would be less pessimistic. I see the use of open and linked data as in very early days.

Firstly, although I appreciate that politicians and bureaucrats do not always want to release data – I think there is still a groundswell in favour of making data available – at least in Europe. Witness yesterdays unveiling of the Italian Open data store (sorry, I can’t find the url at the moment). And although Google search results do not help promote open data sites (and I am not a great fan of Google at the moment after they wiped out my account ten days again), they have contributed very useful tools such as Refine, Fusion Tables and Public Data Explorer.

I still think that as Chris Taggart says in one of his first slides the biggest challenge is relevance. And here I wonder if one of the problems is that Open and Linked Data specialists are just that – specialist developers in their own field. Many of the applications released so far on the UK Data store, whilst admiral examples of the art of development – would seem to have little practical use.

Maybe it is only when the tools and knowledge of how to work with Open and Linked data are adopted by developers and others in wonder social and subject areas that the true benefits will begin to show. Open data applications may work best, not through dedicated apps or sites, but when incorporated in other web sites which provide them with context and relevance. Thus we have been working with the use of open and linked data for careers guidance (see our new web site, www.careerstalk.org which includes working demonstrations).

Bu even more important may be finding ways of combining Open and Linked data with other forms of (human) knowledge and intelligence. It is just this form of knowledge – for instance the experiences and informal knowledge of careers guidance professionals, which brings relevance and context to the data from official data sets. And that provides a new design challenge.

The debate over the future of education gets public

October 24th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

The debate over the future of Higher Education is continuing. There were two interesting newspaper articles in the past days in the Guardian and the New York Times.

The Guardian reports that the first set of statistics on applications to university next year, published by the Universities and Colleges and Admissions Service (Ucas), reveal that 52,321 applicants have applied from within the UK, compared with 59,413 this time last year. This is a fall of some 12 per cent, perhaps unsurprising given the steep rise in university tuition fees.

But the main interest is in the detail. The fall in applications is by no means even across universities and subjects, or by geographical region or age of applicant. The Guardian reports: “The figures suggest more women than men have been put off from applying to university. Some 10.5% fewer women have applied this year, and 7% fewer men.

Mature students appear to have been particularly deterred by the higher fees, the figures show. The number of applicants aged 40 or older has fallen by 27.8%, and among those aged between 30 and 39 the number has dropped by 22.7%.”

In terms of regions  the “numbers of applicants from the east Midlands (down 20%), Yorkshire (17.3%) and the north-east (14.7%) have fallen furthest, the figures show. London (down 9.1%) and the south-east (8.1%) have been less affected.”

And in terms of subjects “applications to education degrees have fallen by 30%, and those to business studies by 26.1%, the figures show.”

There are some pretty clear patterns here. Although there is no data on socio econo0mic backgrounds of applicants the fall in applicants is greatest from working class areas. And in  deterring mature students from applying, this will have a disproportionate effect on education which has in the past been an attractive second career.  The reduction in applications for business studies is more puzzling. Once more this may be an effect of less applications from mature students. Or it could be a general disillusionment with business as a whole. Or it may be that students are turning towards more vocational degrees and fear business studies offers little chance of post university employment.

It is also interesting to note that the fall in applications is uneven across institutions. The elite universities – like Oxford and Cambridge -  are little affected with the biggest reductions seemingly hitting the old Polytechnics.

Once more this can be seen as a class factor, with elite universities always having had a disproportionate number of applications from higher income social groups.

All in all, the figures appear to co0nfirm those critics who pointed to the UK university system becoming more elitist, with working class students afraid of the high debt levels the new fees structure will result in.

The New York Times published an “Opinion” article by Michael Ellsberg entitled “Will dropouts Save America”?

Although somewhat whimsical, Ellsberg points out most job creation comes from business start ups. he goes on to say: “Start-ups are a creative endeavor by definition. Yet our current classrooms, geared toward tests on narrowly defined academic subjects, stifle creativity. If a young person happens to retain enough creative spirit to start a business upon graduation, she does so in spite of her schooling, not because of it.”

But Ellsburg’s solution is hardly progressive. He thinks schools and universities should teach people how to buy and sell things as the bedrock of business start up. And in general he thinks young people are better off not going to university. Ellsburg ignores the importance of access to capital for those seeking to set up new businesses. But I would agree with several things he says. he points out that there is a dual job market in the USA – and I would contend in the UK as well. he points to an informal job market with employment being based on netwo0rking and contacts. “In this informal job market, the academic requirements listed in job ads tend to be highly negotiable, and far less important than real-world results and the enthusiasm of the personal referral.”

And he says “Employers could alter this landscape if they explicitly offered routes to employment for those who didn’t get a degree because they were out building businesses.”

Such employment routes used to be called apprenticeships. A revival of apprenticeship training could offer a high skills alternative to university education and provide the job adaptability skills need for succeeding in the highly unstable employment market today. But such apprenticeships cannot be left to employers alone. In the UK the government has taken to calling almost any course an apprenticeship, regardless of skills levels or length. Apprenticeship requires development and regulations to ensure the quality of the learning experience. Bit apprenticeship can offer an alternati9ve route of education to the failed model of mass university education.

New website launched

October 3rd, 2011 by Graham Attwell

We are happy to announce the launch of a new webs site, CareersTalk. The site, developed jointly between Pontydysgu and the Institute for Employment Research, Warwick University, provides access to the ongoing research and development we are undertaking into careers guidance and in particular, the use of new technology to support careers guidance. Much of this work has been undertaken with support from the EU Mature-IP and G8WAY projects.

The introduction says: “The web site is designed to provide leading-edge ideas for careers work – including information-advice-and-guidance, careers education, career counselling, mentoring, coaching, personal-and-social development, learning for well-being, for a changing world, portfolio development and individual action-planning. In particular it focuses on the use of technology for careers information, advice and guidance. Technology has already influenced, and will continue to influence, not only the ways in which guidance services are accessed by clients, but how they are used by them.”

The web site also provides links to working versions of our data visualisation tools.

A quarter of young people receive no careers advice

September 20th, 2011 by Graham Attwell
The UK government, whilst launching a new National Careers Service, is switching responsibility for advice to those aged under 19 to schools. And this can only worsen the present situation where advice can be patchy especially for those with vocational qualifications. Do schools really have teachers able to advise students about vocational careers?
However the concern about asking parents reflected in the report of the City and Guilds course seems strange. Our research for the EU G8WAY project shows that parents can often pressurise young people into careers routes in which they are unhappy and which are not suited to them. Equally there is long running research showing that young people tend to follow their parents in careers choices and that this only reinforces the class nature of the education and occupational structures.
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

The survey of 1,620 15- to 19-year-olds found those on vocational courses were least likely to have been given guidance.

A quarter of teenagers say they have never received any careers advice, according to a poll.

Some 22% of those studying for A-levels and university courses said they had not received careers advice; this rose to 28% for those taking apprenticeships, BTecs and GNVQs.

The survey, conducted on behalf of City & Guilds – an exam board for vocational courses – also found teenagers were far more likely to ask advice from parents if they had been to university.

Just 30% of teenagers would turn first to their parents for advice if they had no more than GCSE-level qualifications. Some 45% would ask their parents for career help if they had degrees.

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Designing Open and Linked data apps is not easy

September 2nd, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Over the last two years there has been much excitement about the idea of Open and Linked Data. This is especially so in countries like the UK where there has been a pronounced policy commitment to opening the use of public data for commercial and non commercial use. The UK government open data store boasts links to over 5400 sets of data saying “This can then be used by people to build useful applications that help society, or investigate how effective policy changes have been over time.”

There is no doubt that this data is of immense value to researchers. But despite various hack days, the number of genuinely useful applications seem limited.

We have been working with the data for the last nine months attempting to use labour market data to assist careers professionals and young people in choosing careers pathways. As Leia says in a comment on a recent post on this site “so many of our learners arrive with a complete incorrect (or no) idea about what skills are in demand and what’s realistic to expect in terms of looking for work and training.” We are not saying that labour market data and skills demand alone should guide young peoples’ choices. But it is certainly an important factor especially with university education becoming so expensive.

Why are we finding it hard to do? Firstly as the similar Salami project run by the University of Nottingham noted in a recent report much of the official data is collected for economic purposes, not for social use. For instance, much of the labour market information is collected through the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) which although useful for analysing economic trends, is of limited use for occupational guidance. Instead, we really need Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) data. It doesn’t help that despite the data store which provides links to different data sets, the raw and interpreted data is scattered across a number of different web sites. Most of them are in the course of updating their sites, probably in order to make the data more accessible. But at the same time his is breaking links. And although there are a growing number of on-line tools, these all have their own idiosyncratic interfaces and processes (and often seem just not to work).

I was never very interested in statistics until I got involved in this project. And now I am desperately trying to teach myself SPSS but it is not easy and once more is time consuming.

Even when we have obtained the data it has to be cleaned. much of the data also requires manipulation if it is to be visualised. Visualisation tools are becoming more powerful, but still are not always simple to handle.

Using Open and Linked Data is a design process. And some of the most important people who have to be involved in any design process are the end users. Once more this is time consuming. And of course it is necessary to show them what the possibilities are. each different group of users will have different needs. We have spent a long time thinking about what data we should show to young people and what might be relevant for careers advisers.

Finally we have to remember that data is just data – however well visualised. The use of data has to involve meaning making. meaning making is not a precise science. Different people will make different meanings from the same data. The real added value comes when we allow them to participate in collective sense making through sharing and negotiating meanings.

We have developed the idea of a Technology Enhanced Boundary Object which is able to bring together data and data vidsualisations with a  social software layer to explore meanings. We hope to pilot this in the autumn. And we will provide access to a working version of some of our tools in the next week.

So in conclusion – I remain very excited about the potential of Open and Linked Data. But to design apps which are useful takes a lot of work.

What we are working on

August 30th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Here is a quick update on some current work at Pontydysgu. With funding from the European Lifelong Learning Programme G8WAY project and the European Research Framework Mature-IP project, and working with a growing community of partners, we have been developing a series of Web 2.0 tools to support careers guidance. At the moment we are developing a  new web site which will give full access to these tools and applications, as well as to research about the use of Web 2.0 and social software for careers information, advice and guidance. Below is a summary of these tools. If you are interested in finding out more about any of these tools or about our approach to using technology to support careers guidance please get in touch.

Labour Market Visualisation Tools

We are developing tools and applications for visualising Labour Market Information in order to provide young people with an informed basis for decision making around career directions and to support the careers guidance professionals who advise young people. This work has been undertaken in conjunction with the Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick and Careers Wales.

RadioActive

RadioActive is a project using internet radio to assist young people, particularly those from a NEETS (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) background in developing decision making and communication skills. This approach focuses on informal learning and the development of communities of practice through the use of new technologies. The approach is being piloted in conjunction with the University of East London, Yoh, a Hackney based youth agency, and Inspire!, the Education Business Partnership for the London Borough of Hackney.

Storiboard

Storiboard is a Web 2.0 tool for storytelling. In the first year of the G8WAY project we found that storytelling is a powerful tool for developing and reflection on careers biographies. Storiboard allows young people to use multimedia including video, audio and graphics to tell their careers stories and aspirations. It is initially being tested  through using the original stories collected in year one of the project and will then be piloted with UK based careers services.

Webquests

We are developing a series of Web 2.0 webquests designed to support professional development for Careers Guidance professionals. The first two are on the use of the internet for Careers Guidance and on careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Along with our technical partners, Raycom, we are developing a lightweight repository which combined with the Storiboard interface, will provide for easy editing and development of Webquests.

Educational transitions and career adaptability

August 19th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

I have spent much of the afternoon reading the UK Commission for Employment and Skills report on The role of career adaptability in skills supply. The report was written by my colleagues Jenny Bimrose, Alan Brown, Sally Anne Barnes and Deirdre Hughes from the Institute for Employment Research at Warwick University. It is particularly pertinent to our ongoing work on career transitions and Web2.0 and this post forms the first of two looking at some of the central ideas in the report.

Research in careers is limited yet careers choice and careers guidance are increasingly important with fast changing technologies and the world financial crisis rendering many occupations and jobs increasingly insecure. Few young people today will spend their entire working life in one occupation. The report based on empirical research undertaken in the UK and Norway looks at how people adapt to such a situation and how we can better support people through career transitions.

The term career adaptability, the authors say

describes the conscious and continuous exploration of both the self and the environment, where the eventual aim is to achieve synergy between the individual, their identity and an occupational environment. Developing career adaptability has a focus on supporting and encouraging individuals to be autonomous, by taking responsibility for their own career development. The operational definition of career adaptability used for this study was: ‘The capability of an individual to make a series of successful transitions where the labour market, organisation of work and underlying occupational and organisational knowledge bases may all be subject to considerable change’.

Central to the ideas of the report – and paqrazelling the development of Personal Learning Environments – is the aim of  supporting autonomy and recognising that

‘career’ belongs to the individual, not to the employing organisation (Duarte, 2004).

The report identifies a set of five career adaptive competencies:

  • control emphasises the need for individuals to exert a degree of influence on their situations;
  • curiosity emphasises the value in broadening horizons by exploring social opportunities and possibilities;
  • commitment stresses how individuals should experiment with new and different activities and projects, rather than being focused narrowly on getting into a particular job, so that new possibilities can be generated;
  • confidence relates to believing in yourself and your ability to achieve what is necessary to achieve your career goal;
  • concern refers to stimulating or developing a positive and optimistic attitude to the future. (Savickas et al., 2009, p.245).

Learning is obviously important in developing career adaptive competences, particularly learning through work.

The role of learning in developing career adaptability at work has four dimensions. The first involves learning through challenging work: mastering the practical, cognitive and communicative demands linked with particular work roles and work processes. The second has a primary cognitive focus and involves updating a substantive knowledge base (or mastering a new additional substantive knowledge base). Knowledge updating may play an important role in extending adaptability beyond a focus on the current work role. The third dimension has a primary communicative focus and comprises learning through (and beyond) interactions at work. Finally, the fourth dimension focuses upon how career adaptability is facilitated by individuals becoming more self-directed and self-reflexive in their learning and development.

One special aspect of being self-directed, illustrated by the quotes above, relates to being self-reflexive, able to identify your current skill set and how this might be enhanced and extended. Those who made successful transitions all seemed to be self-directed in either or both their learning and development and their career more generally. The link between being self-directed in your own learning and development and making successful transitions is transparent: if you can learn to adapt and continue to develop in your current job, even in less than ideal circumstances, then this provides a basis for making successful transitions in future. Several participants also pointed to the psychological dimension of how being self-directed and successful in making a major transition reinforced your confidence that you would be able to do this again in future, if required.

Those individuals who see that their skills can be transferred to other contexts have significant advantages in changing career direction over those who define themselves almost exclusively by their occupational and organisational attachments (Bimrose et al., 2008). This advantage stems from the former having a dynamic sense of themselves as being able to navigate their own route through the labour market, whereas the latter are dependent upon the pathways linked to a particular organisation or occupation.

However, the research based on a psychological-social approach, also recognised the importance of opportunity in careers transitions and the multiple-disadvantages many face in the labour market, especially in the UK, as opposed to Norway where class plays a lesser role. It also recognises the role that different labour market and education structures (and regulation) can play with regard to opportunity.

The term ‘opportunity structures’ itself contains the tension between openness and flexibility on the one hand and structured pathways on the other. Both are valuable and it is finding an accommodation which works well for most members of a society and also provides opportunities for those who do not fit initially. This should be the goal of a Continuing Vocational Training policy, informed by concerns for individual career developmen

The research approach was particularly interesting. In the EU funded G8WAY project we have been looking at the potential of storytelling, both as a research methodology or tool., and for helping young people reflect on education transitions. The career adaptability study also adopted a story telling approach.

The research study reported here adopted a retrospective and reflective approach – asking adults to reflect on their experiences of labour market transition, comment on the strategies they deployed and what, with the benefit of hindsight, they might have done differently. This approach has analytical power in that it enables individuals to ‘tell their career stories’, who invariably respond well to being given an opportunity to do so. Most individuals in our sample constructed coherent career narratives that had a current value in offering perspectives on where they were now, had been, and were going in their work lives. It could be argued that the career stories of some individuals may have been partly based on past events that have been reinterpreted from how they felt at the time they occurred. However, this misses an essential point about career adaptability: it is how the past is interpreted and reinterpreted which can act as a trigger to positive engagement with education and training when faced with labour market transitions. Hence, it is the stories in which we are interested, rather than searching for an unobtainable ‘truth’ about their attitudes and behaviours in the past.

This reflective approach has provided deep insights into dominant features that characterise an individual’s career adaptability profile, namely: individual (personality) characteristics; context and opportunities (opportunity structures); learning and development; and career orientation. These features are in constant and dynamic interaction, one with another.

One final aspect of being self-directed surfaced in many of our participants’ replies – people can learn from their lives through the stories they tell about them. Many of our participants recounted powerful narratives of where they had been, where they were and where they might be going. They were in charge of their own stories and such a perspective itself is an important component of adaptability.

The digital divide is widening

August 12th, 2011 by Graham Attwell
Jen Schradie, a doctoral candidate in sociology at UC Berkeley
Center for New Media, has analyzed data from more than 41,000 American adults surveyed between 2000 and 2008 in the Pew Internet and American Life Project. She found that college graduates are 1.5 times more likely to be bloggers than are high school graduates; twice as likely to post photos and videos and three times more likely to post an online rating or comment.
But perhaps most significant is her finding that class is likely to be the major determinate in online participation
clipped from newscenter.berkeley.edu

Overall, the study found, less than 10 percent of the U.S. population is participating in most online production activities, and having a college degree is a greater predictor of who will generate publicly available online content than being young and white.

The results suggest that the digital divide for social media users is wider between the haves and have-nots than it is between young and old, and underscore growing concerns that the poor and working classes lack the resources to participate fully in civic life, much of which is now online. That chasm is unlikely to break down until everyone has a host of digital production tools at both home and work, Schradie said.

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San Marino’s first live internet radio broadcast

August 12th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Last week we traveled to San Marino to organise a workshop on internet radio at the San Marino Arts Festival (SMIAF) and to broadcast the festival.
The SMIAF web site says:

100 music events, theater, circus, photo, art, culture and appetizers-meetings, the event gives voice to young artists of Knowledge, professionals and creators of San Marino, Europe and the World. The Festival creates a “social network” real and human in the ancient Land of Liberty to meet, interact, learn and create new knowledge. SMIAF Project aims to promote, also throughout the year, a new and more valuable visibility for the country both locally and internationally.

But this fails to convey the real excitement. The festival is run by volunteers – young people from San Marino. They have only a small budget and much of that is money raised by them. And there is a real buzz about it – enhanced by the venue. The old city of San Marino is perched 800 meters up on a mountain with small winding streets. There are ten festival stages with steep climbs between them.

We met for the workshop at about four in the afternoon on the Friday. The workshop, held outside in one of the main squares, was a little complicated in that we did not speak Italian and most of the volunteers spoke only limited English. But with help from Anthony, our Maltese translator we got by.
This is the fourth internet radio workshop we have run this summer and although they vary a little according to time and numbers, the format and content is much the same. We introduce them to the equipment and to how internet radio works, then we run a storyboarding workshop to get ideas for content and formats for the broadcasts. This is usually followed by a session where participants decide what roles they will take responsibility for – producers, floor managers, technicians, music, journalists etc.

Then it is down to the hard work of preparing content and getting out publicity through social networks whilst at the same time practicing interview techniques and how to use the microphones. The workshops are always pretty chaotic but a lot of fun. With previous workshops teh aim has been to produce a 30 minute programme. In this case we ended up broadcasting from four in the afternoon until ten o’clock on the Saturday and on the Sunday we ran on to well past midnight.

What is particularly satisfying is the enthusiasm and speed of learning which happens when participants have a real and authentic task – to broadcast live radio. And the live element provides an adrenaline rush which a participant at a previous workshop described as being “better than drugs”. It is also great to watch how participants fuse together as a team and take on different roles and responsibilities in the process.

The SMIAF radio programme has a longer term aim than the festival. San Marino has only one radio station and that is government controlled. To the best of our knowledge the festival marked the first internet radio broadcast from San Marino. And our intention is to develop internet radio in San Marino starting with a podcast serie4s from the autumn and leading to the launch of live internet radio next year.

It was a great weekend. Thanks to all who helped us – the SMIAF organizers, the technical support but above all all those who joined the SMIAF radio team over the weekend. We hope to see you all again soon.

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    Consultation

    Diana Laurillard, Chair of ALT, has invited contributions to a consultation on education technology to provide input to ETAG, the Education Technology Action Group, which was set up in England in February 2014 by three ministers: Michael Gove, Matthew Hancock and David Willetts.

    The deadline for contributions is 23 June at http://goo.gl/LwR65t.


    Social Tech Guide

    The Nominet Trust have announced their new look Social Tech Guide.

    The Social Tech Guide first launched last year, initially as a home to the 2013 Nominet Trust 100 – which they describe as a list of 100 inspiring digital projects tackling the world’s most pressing social issues.

    In  a press relase they say: “With so many social tech ventures out there supporting people and enforcing positive change on a daily basis, we wanted to create a comprehensive resource that allows us to celebrate and learn from the pioneers using digital technology to make a real difference to millions of lives.

    The Social Tech Guide now hosts a collection of 100′s of social tech projects from around the world tackling everything from health issues in Africa to corruption in Asia. You can find out about projects that have emerged out of disaster to ones that use data to build active and cohesive communities. In fact, through the new search and filter functionality on the site, you should find it quick and easy to immerse yourself in an inspiring array of social tech innovations.”


    Code Academy expands

    The New York-based Codecademy has translated its  learn-to-code platform into three new languages today and formalized partnerships in five countries.

    So if you speak French, Spanish or Portuguese, you can now access the Codecademy site and study all of its resources in your native language.

    Codecademy teamed up with Libraries Without Borders (Bibliotheques sans Frontieres) to tackle the French translation and is now working on pilot programs that should reduce unemployment and bring programming into schools. In addition, Codecademy will be weaving its platform into Ideas Box, a humanitarian project that helps people in refugee camps and disaster zones to learn new skills. Zach Sims, CEO of Codecademy, says grants from the public and private sector in France made this collaboration possible.

    The Portuguese translation was handled in partnership with The Lemann Foundation, one of the largest education foundations in Brazil. As with France, Codecademy is planning several pilots to help Brazilian speakers learn new skills. Meanwhile in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the company has been working closely with the local government on a Spanish version of its popular site.

    Codecademy is also linking up up with the Tiger Leap program in Estonia, with the aim of teaching every school student how to program.


    Open online STEM conference

    The Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference claims to be the world’s first massively open online conference for educators focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and more. The conference is being held over the course of three days, September 19-21, 2013, and is free to attend!
    STEMxCon is a highly inclusive event designed to engage students and educators around the globe and we encourage primary, secondary, and tertiary (K-16) educators around the world to share and learn about innovative approaches to STEMx learning and teaching.

    To find out about different sessions and to login to events go to http://bit.ly/1enFDFB


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