Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

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...

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...

Presenting Media in Action to the European Media Literacy Expert Group

February 1st, 2018 by Angela Rees
On 14th December last year I woke up halfway up the tallest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in on a maisonette level double bed in Brussels. I got the highly efficient public transport to the edge of the city and found my way to the DG Connect building.  I gave a presentation, experienced my first...
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    News Bites

    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


    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”


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