Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Ponty gets Cycle-ing

September 23rd, 2019 by Angela Rees

It’s not unusual to find the Pontydysgu staff in a bar on a Saturday but I was there before the staff this weekend.

Pontypridd’s Clwb y Bont played host to an event to promote the Cycle project. Cycle aims to promote circular economy ideas to teachers and trainers in adult learning who can in turn promote the ideas through their work with learners. Fortunately Pontypridd is a hotbed of circular activities and I am still being contacted by people who want to get involved.

Circular economy sounds far more complicated than it is. It means that instead of buying a product, using it and then throwing it away, we aim to get the absolute maximum use out of it, ideally reusing it over and over. The aim is to produce zero waste. This requires thought and planning at all levels of the production/supply chain but it is something that everyone can play a part in.

At the start of 2019 I sat down with a local group of adult educators and community group leaders, told them about the Cycle project and asked what sort of event would be most useful for them. They knew far more about circular economy that I did!

What resulted was a day long circular economy and sustainability festival in the glorious Welsh summer combining workshops and discussions about implementing circular economy ideas in practice, about teaching those ideas to others and about making what adult educators already do more circular. At the same time there were practical demonstrations of the work and teaching including willow craft, home brew and sustainable gardening.

We called it Your Ponty Needs you because the whole town needs to pull together to reduce waste and improve sustainability.

Our Town in Xylagani

July 3rd, 2019 by Angela Rees
The OurTown project team met recently in Xylagani Primary school to discuss the next stages of the project. We now have a process by which we can add multiple challenges to the same QR code and link the code to a geographical location using Google maps. Each time the user scans the same code, a...

Ponty gets Cycle-ing

July 3rd, 2019 by Angela Rees

It’s not unusual to find the Pontydysgu staff in a bar on a Saturday but I was there before the staff this weekend. Pontypridd’s Clwb y Bont played host to an event to promote the Cycle project. Cycle aims to promote circular economy ideas to teachers and trainers in adult learning who can in turn

Pontypridd’s Clwb y Bont played host to an event to promote the Cycle project. Cycle aims to promote circular economy ideas to teachers and trainers in adult learning who can in turn promote the ideas through their work with learners. Fortunately Pontypridd is a hotbed of circular activities and I am still being contacted by people who want to get involved.

Circular economy sounds far more complicated than it is. It means that instead of buying a product, using it and then throwing it away, we aim to get the absolute maximum use out of it, ideally reusing it over and over. The aim is to produce zero waste. This requires thought and planning at all levels of the production/supply chain but it is something that everyone can play a part in.

At the start of 2019 I sat down with a local group of adult educators and community group leaders, told them about the Cycle project and asked what sort of event would be most useful for them. They knew far more about circular economy that I did!

What resulted was a day long circular economy and sustainability festival in the glorious Welsh summer combining workshops and discussions about implementing circular economy ideas in practice, about teaching those ideas to others and about making what adult educators already do more circular. At the same time there were practical demonstrations of the work and teaching including willow craft, home brew and sustainable gardening.

We called it Your Ponty Needs you because the whole town needs to pull together to reduce waste and improve sustainability.

 

 

RoboSTEAM Erasmus+ project

January 29th, 2019 by Daniela Reimann

Integrating STEAM and Computational Thinking Development by using Robotics and Physical Devices (Acronym: RoboSTEAM) is a new project funded under the European Erasmus+-program, Key Action ‘Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices’: Strategic partnerships for school innovation.

The project aims to integrate what is called STEM, explicitly adding the subject of arts – towards STEAM: Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Physical computing environments for school use (pre-university level) are identified in the countries. At KIT’s Institute of Vocational and general Education we will look at more playful, visual and art-based processes for teaching and learning about computational modeling and thinking by bridging technology, art and design processes. For example, haptic materials such as smart textile and wearable projects will be developed by pupils supported by students of engineering pedagogy.

The project will define a methodology and a set of tools that will help learners to develop computational thinking by using/programming PD&R in pre-university education stages. The project will also improve teacher education, providing them with a framework for easy STEAM integration in different educational contexts by providing guidelines for good practices and lessons learned adapted to different contexts. All these products will have been tested in different countries and cross-validated in different higher education institutions.

RoboSTEAM’s innovation is based on the following items: It defines a framework and a set of instruments for integrating STEAM and develop computational thinking in a replicable, effective and measurable way. The framework is based on a Challenge Based Learning approach which implies dealing with general and social problems. It applies Policy Development and Research (PD&R) to do this, which aims to attract students to study scientific disciplines.

Co-ordinator is Miguel Ángel Conde González, PhD,
Universidad de León, Área de Arquitectura y Tecnología de Computadores
Dpto. Ingenierías Mecánica, Informática y Aeroespacial.
Escuela de Ingenierías Industrial e Informática, ES

Partners are
• University of Eastern Finland, School of Computing, KUOPIO, Finland
• Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Vocational and General Education KIT
• University of Salamanca
• Instituto Polytecnico de Braganca, Pt
• IES ERAS De ReNUEVA, ES
• Colegio Internato dos Carvvalhos, Pt

The 7Ws of Media and Information Literacy

October 17th, 2018 by Angela Rees
The Media in Action project has published its resource bank of hand-picked, tried and tested tools, literature, how-to guides, articles, videos and inspiration. The resources are split into our 7Ws; What – with resources on historical context, the definition and concepts of convergence literacies, pedagogy, and the era of prosumerism. Why – on media citizenship,...

Young Entrepreneurs

September 27th, 2018 by Angela Rees
Here are some photos from our successful YETI in the Valleys event. We met some brilliant and inspiring people.

Wales DigitalFest 2018

May 24th, 2018 by Angela Rees
Cardiff may be a small city but it certainly knows how to put on a good show. The beautiful Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay was jam-packed with exhibitors, speakers, workshops and discussions with attendees ranging from wannabe start-ups to big business moguls, politicians to street food vendors. Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies featured highly on the agenda, which...

Educate to Create

April 27th, 2018 by Angela Rees
This year, Bulgaria holds the presidency of the European Union, I was invited to Sofia to be a panel speaker at one of the associated conferences, Educate to Create. The conference was billed as “an opportunity to bring attention to the pressing need to raise digital skills and competence levels across Europe and to support...

It all kicked off in the Principality

February 2nd, 2018 by Angela Rees
The Media in Action consortium met in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium at the end of January for our project kick off meeting. There was an air of excitement and a keenness to hit the ground running in this one year pilot project co-funded by DG Connect. Work has already started identifying existing good practices and competency...

Empowering Public Employment Service Practitioners’ peer facilitation with peer coaching training

February 1st, 2018 by Angela Rees
The EmployID Peer Coaching and Evaluation teams had an article published this week in the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring. In a changing world of work with high youth unemployment rates, an ageing society and flexible work force, practitioners in Public Employment Services need to cope with continually growing demands. In this paper...
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    News Bites

    Open Educational Resources

    BYU researcher John Hilton has published a new study on OER, student efficacy, and user perceptions – a synthesis of research published between 2015 and 2018. Looking at sixteen efficacy and twenty perception studies involving over 120,000 students or faculty, the study’s results suggest that students achieve the same or better learning outcomes when using OER while saving a significant amount of money, and that the majority of faculty and students who’ve used OER had a positive experience and would do so again.


    Digital Literacy

    A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

    A new Welsh Government programme has been launched which will work with organisations across Wales, in order to help people increase their confidence using digital technology, with the aim of helping them improve and manage their health and well-being.

    Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being, follows on from the initial Digital Communities Wales (DCW) programme which enabled 62,500 people to reap the benefits of going online in the last two years.

    See here for more information


    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.


    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time


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