Have been in Brussels for the last two days – speaking at 9th European Week of Regions and Cities organized by DG Regio and also taking the opportunity to join other sessions. My topic was Evaluation 2.0. Very encouraged by the positive feedback I’ve been getting all day both face-to-face and through twitter. I thought people would be generally resistant to the idea as it was fairly hard-hitting (and in fairness, some were horrified!) but far more have been interested and very positive, including quite a lot of Commission staff. However, the question now being asked by a number of them of them is “How do we progress this?” – meaning, specifically, in the context of the evaluation of Regional Policy and DG Regio intervention.
Evaluation 2.0 in Regional Policy evaluation
I don’t have any answers to this – in some ways, that’s not for me to decide! I have mostly used Evaluation 2.0 stuff in the evaluation of education projects not regional policy. And my recent experience of the Cohesion Fund, ERDF, IPA or any of the structural funds is minimal. However, the ideas are generic and if people think that there are some they could work with, that’s fine!
That said, here are some suggestions for moving things forward – some of them are mine, most have been mooted by various people who have come to talk to me today (and bought me lots of coffee!)
Suggestions for taking it forward
P.S. Message to the large numbers of English delegates at the conference
When you left Heathrow yesterday to come to Brussels, I do hope you waved to the English Rugby team arriving home from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
(Just as well this conference was not a week later or I’d have leave a similar message for the French delegates…..)
Warning – this article is not based on any reliable research. However it is based on talking to a lot of people over the summer about their attitudes towards social networks and how they use them. Most of the people are working on various educational projects and are based in Europe although some were from north America and the Middle East. So in no way a representative sample but an interesting one.
Firstly there seems to be an increasing number of people who are opting out of Facebook or, if maintaining accounts, merely forwarding posts from Twitter or another social networking service. Reasons vary from Facebook privacy issues, difficulty in managing ‘friends’, social network overload, disliking the Facebook apps (Farmville is often quoted) to just feeling Facebook is a personal network not suitable for business or educational use.
Against that there seem to be a growing number of people who are separating out their use of different social networking accounts, for example using Facebook for keeping in touch with family and friends and Twitter for work.
There seem to be less people who ‘don’t get Twitter’ although against that a growing skepticism about its future with some feeling it will become increasingly taken over by commercial interests.
Many I have spoken too are thinking about the longevity of social networking services, especially free services. This seems to be increasing as so many people have invested time and effort into Flickr which they fear may be in danger due to Yahoo’s financial woes.
Google+ is the big unknown. Firstly its insistence on real names is alienating substantial numbers of social network evangelists. However, many also see its use as a business and research tool, particularly the use of circles and hangouts for project communication. However, many, like me, are struggling to maintain a presence in so many different networks!
And finally blogging. Without wishing to revive the old #F-Alt debate that micro-blogging is killing blogging, I sense a return to blogs, as offering a form and medium which can be used for substantial writing and reflection.
Regardless of feelings and preferences over individual services, there seems to be a general acknowledgement that social networking is here to say and that it is becoming an integral part of research, communication and exchange for projects and education. Probably the fastest growing services being used for project management and communication are Dropbox, Google docs and Skype.
Be interested in any of your opinions.
It is always sad when lovers break up. especially close lovers with a growing relationship who suddenly fall out with each other. And the educational technology community has certainly has a long love in with Twitter. Twitter for teaching, Twitter for learning, Twitter for developing projects, twitter for maintaining communities and twitter just for nattering with each other. But I foresee a more tempestuous relationship ahead. Why? As the Guardian newspaper reports: “Twitter has amazed and outraged developers by warning them that it will severely curtail their ability to build apps that use its output.” The Guardian quotes Ryan Sarver, the head of platform and API at Twitter as saying:
Twitter will provide the primary mainstream consumer client experience on phones, computers, and other devices by which millions of people access Twitter content (tweets, trends, profiles, etc), and send tweets. If there are too many ways to use Twitter that are inconsistent with one another, we risk diffusing the user experience.
It was just because Twitter opened up its API to third party developers and applications which led to such rapid innovation and experimentation – in education as much as elsewhere. This looks to be over. Sarver might claim this is due to the desire to guarantee the user experience but few will believe that. fairly obviously Twitter want to make money out of their loss making application. I suspect it is not so much apps they want to make money out of but advertising. and to control advertising they want to control the app market.
As Dave Winer (who has seen all this a few times before) says: “The Internet remains the best place to develop because it is the Platform With No Platform Vendor.” Winer goes on to say:
Facebook may have a huge installed base, but it’s dead to me. I can’t get there. The platform vendor is too active. Same with Twitter, same with Apple. Give me a void, something I can develop for, where I can follow the idea where ever it leads. Maybe there are only a few thousand users. Maybe only a few million. Hey, you can’t be friends with everyone.
And that I guess is the lesson for education. Follow our ideas. See where they lead. Don’t worry about how many users there are. And above all lets work on the platform with no vendor. Education is a public good, not a vendor platform.
But it was good whilst it lasted, Twitter.
Pontydysgu is sponsoring the Mobile learning: Crossing Boundaries in Convergent Environments 2011 conference being held in Bremen on March 21 – 22. And as I did with the PLE2010 Conference last year, I will be writing the occasional bog about how we are organising the conference and why.
We held a meeting of the organising committee today. The committee is small, Klaus Rummler, Judith Seipold, Eileen Luebcke and myself. The advantage of such a small group is that meetings are informal (and generally productive) and we can all meet face to face. The disadvantage, of course, is that there are not many people to do all the work. Informal is key for me. Long gone re the days when conferences could only be organised by the great and the good, and organising committees were full of Professors with many letters after t5heir name. This is one of the democratising effects of social media. In the past it was necessary to have such grand committees in order to get word out of an event. Now we use twitter and facebook and viral info0rmation flows. In additio0n I think researchers are changing their attitudes towards events. In the past it was the authority of the organisation running the vent which was key – were they and their organising committee respected academics with many publications to their name. Now people are more interested in the subject of the conference and on the possibilities for fruitful exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Of course there remain issues. It is often difficult for researchers – and especially students – to get funding to attend a conference. for that reason we have tried to make the event as cheap as possible. We are only charging 50 Euros, and even though we have no sponsorship, we are confident we can break even. I was disappointed last year that the conference on Open education in Barcelona was charging something like 500 Euros to attend.
We rely on the goodwill and input of the community to organise the event. The hardest job is reviewing. We are sending all of the submissions for the conference to two reviewers. With something like 50 submissions that means 100 reviews. the open source Easychair system helps in organising this but is by no means perfect. And I remain sceptical about how review systems work. However clear the instructions, different reviewers seem to have very different perceptions of submissions. however, I have no ideas of a better system for quality. And at the end of the day, the success of the event depends on the quality of the inputs.
One of the more bizarre problems in organising such events is collecting the mo0ney. It is extremely hard to get systems for universities to accept money in (and often just as hard to get the money out again. Furthermore, an overview of who has paid is vital and university finance systems are rarely geared to providing such information on demand. however Paypal makes setting up your own payments system fairly easy.
We started talking about the programme design today. One thing we are keen to do is to separate between the submission of a high quality research paper and the traditional academic form of presentation. Endless paper presentations do not stimulate discourse and ideas, and seldom lead to the generation of new knowledge. Thus we are looking at different forms of presentations, including cafe type sessions and debates. It is also very heartening that we have received some excellent proposals for workshops with real interaction with participants. And once we have got an outline programme we will be looking at add different unconferencing sessions.
Submissions for the conference officially closed last Friday. But if you do want to make a last minute proposal email it to me by Sunday. But even if you haven’t got a proposal in their will be plenty of ways to participate. Hope to see many of you in Bremen in March
Skype is a free web tool where you can make and receive free calls and video calls only with an internet connection. I’ve already shown a short presentation on Skype in my previous post about Prezi so what I’m just going to give some tips on how to use it in your classroom as well as outside :)
Sorry for writing so much but I did this while on the train and I didn’t have my microphone with me and it would’ve been kind of awkward recoding this post with 8 people sitting around you :P
You could ask your students then to interview the person, take notes on his/her answers and write an article about him/her
I might want to practice the Speaking part for the IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge (FCE, CAE, CPE) exams in the class and I see that my students still need practice. If I don’t have enough time in the class for further practice then I can tell them to practise their speaking skills at home. How do they do this?
o You can ask them to record themselves using their phone while talking about a topic. However, not everyone has a phone with a recorder on it.
o You can tell them to use a microphone and install a specific software on their computer to record what they’re saying. However, they have to buy a microphone in case they don’t have one and they have to install the proper software on their computer…something that not everyone is willing to do.
o IF they have a laptop with an incorporated microphone, they could use that. However, not every Windows OS supports a recorder although Windows 7 has one and is free for use in the Accessories section. You just have to open it and push the big red button to start recording.
o Using a proper recorder is of course a good way also but once again they need to buy one if they don’t have one yet. For most this might be a pain in the neck and might demotivate them to practice the speaking part.
And if you think about it, talking to oneself is not really what happens at exam…or in real life… :) Practising speaking on your own might be good if you’re practising for a speech and still you don’t have an audience…something that you do have in reality.
So without further a do….In my opinion, the best way of practising speaking at home on a phone with a partner is using Skype.
Skype not only offers you free calls but also free live video chat feature thus making it able for anyone who has a laptop with a webcam and a microphone (built in or external) to have a real conversation while practising some speaking skills. Yes, you do have to have a microphone…luckily most of the laptops nowadays on the market offer you a built in webcam as well a microphone thus making the purchase of an external microphone unnecessary.
So how do we give feedback on a conversation that our students have had at home with another person? The answer is simple…we ask them to record the conversation and send it email it to us:)
How do we do this? On Skype of course :P Skype has many plug-ins which give us the possibility to record not only the voice but also the video calls.
You might not want to ask your students to record their video calls…I think asking them to record their voice calls is enough for you and for them. They might be shy enough to listen to their own voices and sending it to you could be something they might not be keen on.
Pamela is a plug-in that is easy to install, it’s free and it can record your calls on Skype. The downsides are that you can record only up to 15 min although there are rarely conversations that take that long. Also it doesn’t function always as well as it’s supposed to be….I think it’s just made this way so you buy it in the end. Consequently, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed lately by Pamela because it didn’t want to start although I could open it and set the setting but it didn’t record anything….I couldn’t even push the big red button…it was unavailable.
This led to frustration and curiosity in the same time. I searched for new plug-ins for Skype to record conversations and I found some.
PrettyMay is a free plug-in and much more useful than Pamela because it can also record video besides the voice call record option. It is easy to install and to use and it stores your recordings which you can then save and send to anyone you like.
For advanced users: you could then use a free web tool such as Audacity and put the pieces of the story together and save it as an mp3 or any other format. You can then give feedback on the structure of the story, language, creativity, fluency, coherency and so on :) The new chain story :) It’s fun and captivating. Students will be anxious to see what the others have thought about and will try to top whatever the other have written…this kind of competitive spirit is always a good incentive.
Here is a short tutorial on how to install Skype and PrettyMay call recorder and on other tips on how to use them for educational purposes (from slideshare.net):
And here is a video to see what Skype is about:
So that you just know…Skype can be used also on your mobile phones. You can make phone to computer conversations also (and it doesn’t work only on Verizon!):
Many teachers ask themselves why they should use twitter. Even some of my students asked me why they should use twitter if they already have a facebook, yahoo messenger account. Frankly, you don’t HAVE TO use it if you don’t want to. No one will oblige you to create an account on it.
However, there are some advantages of using twitter for both teachers and students, despite the whole skepticism about it.
For those who don’t know it yet, twitter is a micro-blogging site where you can post any time what you are doing and if you follow someone such as your friends, family members or colleagues you will also know what they’re doing.
Here is the official explanation by twitter:
Why is it called a micro-blog? Well, first of all, you are not allowed to write more than 140 characters in one tweet (entry). This can be very refreshing for many but also kind of annoying for some of us.
When I want to read about something on a blog then I prefer not having to read the entire post because I’m probably not interested in everything the person has to say about a topic (of course it depends on the topic) so I’m just going to skim for the most important pieces of information. On the other hand, when you are on twitter you don’t have to read thousands of words or skim through the entire text just to find something useful. You can read the entire entry because it’s that short :)
Therefore, it’s more motivating to read short pieces of information thus finding out about many things in shorter time than reading for hours about one certain topic.
Nevertheless, many are still skeptical about twitter because of its quick flow of information and its, sometimes, overwhelming tweets. However, this might occur only if you have hundreds or thousands of followers – which is not easy to accomplish. And even if, by any chance, you get bored of getting the tweets of someone you’re following, you can easily get rid of them by clicking ‘Unfollow’ and henceforth you won’t get any tweets from that person again – if you change your mind you can always follow that person again.
Despite this skepticism about this rush of information, I think that this is something positive. Nowadays, you have to try to stay up-to-date with everything new that’s going on in the world. Why? Because your students are doing the same thing and you might find yourself not knowing what they are talking about or what students are into these days thus lowering your chances of making your lessons interesting. And if you can’t motivate students nowadays they will get bored of your lessons or, even worse, of you or your lack of interest. But this is almost a different topic that I might talk about another time. Let’s get back to twitter:) The main idea here is that, the more information you get on twitter the better. Of course this depends on what kind of tweets your receiving and this depends on who you’re following. Now these are all your choices to make. Who to follow, what to read and what not to read. You can have two separate accounts: one for work and another for personal stuff. However, I personally think this is unnecessary…it’s just one too many passwords to remember but as I said it’s a personal choice.
Lately, I’ve been hearing teachers talk a lot about twitter and how to use it to their advantage in their professional lives. I’ve been hearing about what a great way twitter is if you want to make new professional acquaintances and find out about new activities, links, conferences and many more and this is true, however if people are looking for conversations on twitter then it’s the last place to go. Yes, IF you follow the right person on twitter then you can see who that person is following and follow maybe some of them and then look at some of the people that person has as his/her followers and follow some of them and so on and so forth. After a while you will start getting lots of tweets about different stuff relating from day-to-day activities to professional ones. Then you can start filtering out the ones which are important for you and use them in your field of expertise.
A fine use of Twitter which helps us learn a new word each day and replace the colorful adjectives we normally use at traffic snarls. Follow @artwiculate on Twitter and use the word they broadcast in one of your tweets. The more ‘likes’ or retweets each reply gets, pushes it up the popularity charts on Artwiculate. The prize: An enriched vocabulary which we can use to sound more intelligent than we actually are.
Solve user created puzzles via Twitter or create your own. The fun is in the off the cuff bizarre answers that get generated. The site could do with a boost as the responses seem to be flagging off. If you have a sense of humor, play this Twitter game which is short and funny.
Outwit.me has a lineup of seven games based on Twitter. You can join and play anytime once one game is over and another begins. For instance, in Tweet Hangman you have to guess a secret word or phrase by replying with letters. Tweet Quiz is about guessing all the multiple answers that may exist for the quiz asked. Each correct guess that matches the majority earns a point.
This Twitter game is the equivalent of the classic game of Bricks, except that the bricks come from Tweets. Stack up your Tweets as they fall down with the arrow keys. You can choose to play with your own Tweets, with other users, friends or followers, with your mentions, or with all Tweets posted with a Hash tag.
The idea to play chess with a remote opponent is nothing new. Chess Tweets just takes the idea onto Twitter. You don’t need to register separately. You can play against one or against the entire community by moving the set pieces and sending chess moves via your Twitter account. Depending on the responses, this game can be slow at times.
As you can see there are some ways to use these outside your classes with your students by motivating them to use twitter not only to say that they are washing the dishes or watching their favourtite TV series but also to use it as a useful tool.
Now, this is depends very much on whether your students have a mobile device (such as a smart phone or tablet/pad or a laptop) that supports a twitter application. If not or they don’t like carrying it with themselves into classes then you pretty much can’t use it when teaching in the classroom. If they do have these gadgets and are happy to use them in class you might use twitter to:
I moaned on twitter this evening about the intrusive advertising now showing on Slideshare. Fairly obviously, Slideshare are trying to persuade people to sign up for the recently introduced Premium Accounts. The end of free is in sight with many social software providers turning to premium account models in an attempt to monetize services (or at least pay for bandwidth). And of course this was bound to happen. Whilst in the initial days of Web 2.0, service providers could make money on advertising by poaching advertising budgets from print publications, there has to be a point where advertising money runs out, especially in a recessions.
But this provides a big challenge for using technology for teaching and learning. the last two years has been a period of great innovation, with an increasing focus on pedagogy, rather than technology per se. That in turn has been facilitated by teachers (and learners) being able to themselves choose what applications to use, free from institutional diktat be it by managers, accountants or systems administrators. whilst the cost of premium accounts is generally low (although interestingly not for high bandwidth applications such as video streaming), teachers and learners are going to be forced to decide which of the many available services they wish to subscribe to. And most teachers do not have access to a budget for applications. So does power return to the managers? Will we be forced back to the Learning Management Systems and Virtual Learning Platforms so beloved of systems admins.
In a series of tweets Scott Wilson suggested “we need a new post-web-2.0 strategy” and that “open source and the open web are going to be at the heart of it, and new partnerships with IT departments.” He pointed out that “IT departments are under pressure to cut costs and outsource services; this is a key leverage point and educational technologists may be able to help.”
Scott Leslie joined in the discussion, suggesting that my original tweet fearing a move from the free use of social software by teachers to managerial and IT administrator control “is a false dichotomy that confuses ‘Agency’ with ‘Autonomy’ – there’s a role for system-wide/inst….” He suggested “provisioned systems to replace the “free” ones, but done in ways that maximize learner/teacher agency and choice.” And as an example of such a strategy Carlos Santos proposed the SAPO Campus model. Scott Wilson agreed with Scott Leslie saying “also work on ensuring centrally managed platforms are extensible and flexible for adding new edu tools and apps (even sharepoint!).”
An interesting discussion and one that urgently needs to be taken forward. I wonder if this could be continued as part of the #PLENK2010 course?
Ostatnio Joanna zapytała mnie, dlaczego właściwie tweetuję (= używam Twittera). Kilka innych osób też zadało mi to pytanie, więc myślę, że jest to temat ciekawy dla wielu, szczególnie tych nie-tweetujących. Oto zapis naszej rozmowy:
Joanna: Wiem, że zawzięcie tweetujesz. Kiedyś napisałaś, że czytasz nowe Tweety jeszcze przed poranną kawą… Co takiego daje ci Twitter? Na czym polega jego „czar“? Pytam oczywiście pod kątem procesu uczenia się, bo rozumiem, że informacja o tym że ktoś właśnie idzie na kawę niekoniecznie wzbogaca cię naukowo. Twitter jest na pewno szybkim zródłem informacji, ale czesto jest to informacja z drugiej reki, w dodatku podana w telegraficznym skrócie, a nie każdy jest urodzonym sprawozdawcą, czy reporterem. Szybkie zródło informacji niekoniecznie oznacza dobre i rzetelne zródło informacji….
Ilona: Właśnie z Twitterem jest odwrotnie! Jest świetnym zródłem informacji – zarówno z pierwszej ręki (np. Tweety na temat konferencji PLE) jak i z drugiej ręki (np. Re-Tweety (RT), czyli informacje przez kogoś już ocenione jako wartościowe i dlatego przekazane dalej). Ale masz rację, Twitter jest mieszanką przeróżnych typów informacji i ważne jest, aby umieć filtrowac to, co jest subjektywnie ważne, interesujące itd. Chociaż to, co jest ważne i interesujące może się dosyć często zmieniać. Ja na przykład mam takie momenty, kiedy jestem tylko ukierunkowana na odbiór informacji fachowych i ignoruję Tweety, które donoszą o sprawach osobistych. Jednak czasami właśnie te osobiste Tweety są dla mnie bardzo ważne i cieszę się, że mogę w ten sposób być w kontakcie z ludzmi na innych płaszczyznach niż poziom zawodowy. Twitter to taka mieszanka publiczności i prywatności. I to właśnie jest w nim ciekawe. Każdego dnia możesz znaleść na Twitterze coś, co cię zainspiruje, ucieszy albo skłoni do myślenia, albo podsunie ci prosto „pod nos“ informację, której szukałaś już od dawna.
Joanna: Czyli, kiedy wchodzisz na Twittera to z góry wiesz po co?
Ilona: Czasami wiem, czasami nie. Najczęściej po prostu idę z falą i odkrywam w tym potoku informacji jakieś nowe wzory. Dam ci przyklad. Jakiś czas temu zapomnialam zupełnie, że miała być w TV transmisja z Eurowizji, a bardzo chciałam ją w tym roku zobaczyć, bo Niemcy mieli przesympatyczną kandydatkę (Lenę), ktróra nota bene wygrała. Było już póżno i zaczełam szukać w Internecie, czy Lena już miała występ. Nie mogłam znalezć nic aktualnego, ani przez Google, ani przez strony programów TV. No i myślałam, że już przegapiłam. Wysłałam więc przez Twittera zapytanie, jak dała sobie radę Lena. W ciągu kilku sekund dostałam na tego Tweeta (wiadomość na Twitterze) kilka odpowiedzi! Okazało się, że wystep był jeszcze przed nami. Przez te Tweety odkryłam hasło tzw. taga #eurovision, za pomocą którego mogłam prześledzić wszystko to, co do tej pory zostało na Twitterze napisane na temat Eurowizji. Okazało się, że ludzie tweetowali już od kilku dobrych godzin na ten temat - komentowali, co się dzieje, kto ma jakie szanse, kto miał dobry występ itp. Było też wiele dowcipnych Tweetów – przy kilku naprawdę śmiałam się do rozpuku! Za pomocą Taga #eurovision zaczełam uszestniczyć w tym globalnym tweetowaniu – komentowałam, odpowiadałam, re-tweetowałam. To była super zabawa! Jak wiesz, transmisje Eurowizji nie są najlepszą rozrywką pod słońcem, ale przez Twittera uczestniczyłam w bardzo fajnej globalnej party. To tak, jakby moi znajomi byli u mnie i razem komentowalibyśmy to, co się dzieje w TV. Było wesoło i miło spędziłam czas. Gdyby nie Twitter, to pewnie wyłączyłabym TV po 5 minutach. A tak, bez wychodzenia z domu byłam częścia społecznego, interaktywnego wydarzenia. Teraz coś podobnego dzieje się w związku z mistrzostwami świata w piłce nożnej … polecam hasło #worldcup!
Joanna: Czy umiesz ocenić ile czasu dziennie poświecasz tweetowaniu? Jakby tak zebrać te sekundy, minuty razem?
Ilona: Cieżko powiedzieć. Czasami pół godziny dziennie, czasami 15 minut, czasami 5 minut. Ale prawie codziennie wchodzę i patrzę co się dzieje, o czym się dyskutuje.
Joanna: Czy zamiast np. czytać tweety o konferencji albo z konferencji, nie lepiej jest na niej być? Albo w tym czasie przeczytać artykuł z dobrego czasopisma naukowego?
Ilona: Tak, dobrze być na konferencji, ale nie możesz być na wszystkich i zawsze. Dlatego jeżeli coś cię bardzo interesuje, a nie masz czasu godzinami śledzić livestreamów, możesz sobie taką kwintesencję przeczytać właśnie na Twitterze. Na podstawie Tweetów dowiadujesz się wtedy, jakie były najważniesze tematy, co ludzi poruszyło i o czym sie mówiło. A jeżeli to cię dalej interesuje, na pewno znajdziesz też pośród Tweetow linka na bloga, gdzie będziesz mogła poczytać więcej … Ale zapomniałyśmy w naszej rozmowie o najważniejszym aspekcie Tweetera – o ludziach, którzy są jego częścią. Porozmawiajmy następnym razem na ten temat pod kątem PLN – Personal Learning Networks …
Online Educa Berlin
Are you going to Online Educa Berlin 2014. As usual we will be there, with Sounds of the Bazaar, our internet radio station, broadcasting live from the Marlene bar on Thursday 4 and Friday 5 December. And as always, we are looking for people who would like to come on the programme. Tell us about your research or your project. tell us about cool new ideas and apps for learning. Or just come and blow off steam about something you feel strongly about. If you would like to pre-book a slot on the radio email graham10 [at] mac [dot] com telling us what you would like to talk about.
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.