Monday, May 30, 2011

Schools : Gaming to re-engage students in learning

At TEDxPSU, Ali Carr-Chellman pinpoints three reasons boys are tuning out of school in droves, and lays out her bold plan to re-engage them: bringing their culture into the classroom, with new rules that let boys be boys, and video games that teach as well as entertain.

Last year, March 2010, Jane McGonigal said during her presentation "Gaming can make a better world" on Talks | TED that if "we play, the world could be a better place!" 

I agree. Schools too can be a better place is our students play in the classroom in and around curricula!

There are educators that are introducing games on teaching and learning. A good number of them! Perhaps not so many as it would be suitable, but they are spreading the word in educational blogs, on Facebook or on Twitter. 

I am a pioneer educator in this matter. My students had the chance to use IT and web 2.0 in the curriculum since 2001.

Playing is funny and students can learn with pleasure. As you could listen, this time from Ali carr-Chellman. The theme now is about boys in school.

"Ali Carr-Chellman recent research projects include "Bring Back the Boys," looking at ways gaming can be used to re-engage boys in their elementary education. Another projects asks prisoners and homeless people to think about how to reform schools, bringing new voices to the policy-making table."

She is an instructional designer and author who studies the most effective ways to teach kids and to make changes at school.

She realized as I realized and as other innovative educators realized that traditional elementary and secondary education is not for us, even less for our students.

In part because we were feeling frustrated by the lack of innovation, agility, and readiness to change in traditional education, we began to use games as an open educational resource in the classroom. 

Please read my posts Digital Schools versus Digital Teachers (September 2009)  Ah! Les jeunes! (March 2010)  or Pince of Persia: an interesting narrative text (June 2010) and some other posts that you can search on my blog.  


iPad vs. Android
via Google Images

This kind of lack of innovation in the school motivated me, some years ago, to be an instructional tutor, author and educator, thinking and working on how to change and innovate within schools to make education more appealing for students. 

I've been working with doctoral-level students (school teachers) helping prepare a next generation of educators with inspirational ideas and methods. I did a real research in the field.

I also teach online courses focused on helping practioners, teachers, to learn how to improve their own instructional practices and how to improve their lessons with creativity.

Field trips are often an integral part of instructional practices and greatly benefit. Students learning by allowing them to engage with real-world environments. 

"Technology becomes a tool that students use for learning essential skills and 'getting things done'. "

Marc Prensky


Copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®

Credits: video Talks | TEDX

Licença Creative Commons
Gaming to re-engage students in learning by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Philip Glass at Casa da Musica

Philip Glass | João Messias

On Wednesday night, May 25, 2011, I went to Casa da Musica to listen the American pianist Philip Glass playing 30 years of his music. He is one of most famous composers of the 20th century.

He studied with Ravi Shankar, the greatest Indian musician of the 20th century.
Soundtracks like "The Hours", "The Illusionist", and others are in our best memories.

The Guilhermina Suggia hall was complete. Even the space of chorus was open to the public and all the seats occupied. 

Five themes and two encore were performed during 90 minutes without any interruption.  In an very intimate concert. 

Glass played Six Études (1994-1999), Mad Rush (1980), Metamorphoses (1989), Dreaming Awake (2006), Wichita Vortex Sutra (1990). He came back on the stage and offered two encore to the audience.

Philip Glass
Photo: Steve Pyke

The audience deeply applauded his talent! The contemporary minimalist composer was grateful. And we were so touched by his art! And his simplicity!


A wonderful composer to listen and understand in Music curriculum.


Copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®

(in a pleasant Sunday afternoon)

Credits: video RTP

Licença Creative Commons
Philip Glass at Casa da Musica by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gotta Share! The importance of creativity

A musical breaks out at the GEL Conference in New York, last April. A speaker is suddenly interrupted by a man who refuses to turn off his cell phone. This is the fourth in our series of Spontaneous Musical projects.

Mark Hurst

"I’ve been involved with the Gel Conference since speaking there in 2005. Gel is an annual conference exploring good experience in all its forms – in art, business, technology, society, and life. There are always fabulous speakers, and it’s always a great time. This year, I asked founder Mark Hurst if he’d be open to Improv Everywhere staging a surprise musical at Gel. He immediately agreed."

Charlie Todd


Watch the making off here. It's fun and very interesting.

Are you a creative educator? Do you have creative students?

So, why not a making off of some innovative ideas in a cross-curricula in your school? 

Do it! Your students will love taking part at a different way to present some thematic subjects.

"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will." 

Georges Bernard Shaw


Copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®

Credits: video Improve Everywhere
via The Don Tapscott Innovators Daily

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Using VTS in Education

Dessin Gerard Mathieu

In our days, creativity and innovation are fundamental aims to captivate students in the classroom. Sometimes curricula are not very attractive! But educators can change it. 

Have you read Sunni Brown's "Game Storming Book"?  Watched her at the TED conference?

Thought doodling was a waste of time? It's not, for an example of useful doodling watch the video by Allison Crow below.

You have to admit! It's much more interesting than another yawner of a PowerPoint Presentation. 

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a research-based teaching method that improves critical thinking and language skills through discussions of visual images.

I can share with you the increadible work on visual thinking at Lisbon EFQUEL Innovation Forum, September 2010. It encouraged a lot the dialogue between all participants. And we could follow the disussions of all the workshops through the different graphic panels. 
The team of graphic facilitation students of the United Nations University, Vice-Rectorat in Europe (UNU-ViE) did an impressive and fantastic panel in visual thinking about all the sessions during three days and encourage a lot the discussion between all the participants.

EFQUEL Innovation Forum 2010
Part of final graphic panel 

VTS Facilitation in Education:

Visual Thinking Strategies uses art to foster students' capacities to observe, think, listen and communicate.

In VTS discussions teachers support student growth by facilitating discussions of carefully selected works of visual art. 

For example watch A VTS Discussion with Fourth Grade Students on the video below

A VTS Discussion with Fourth Grade Students from Visual Thinking Strategies on Vimeo.

VTS encourages participation, especially among students and educators. VTS is easy to learn and offers a proven strategy for educators to meet current learning objectives as you could watch on the video.

You can watch other videos with different grades here. And learn more about VTS here.

Educators an find some strategies and techniques here

"One of our most exciting partnerships is built around the Visual Thinking Strategies, an innovative arts based curriculum that offers great promise for education." (...)


Copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®

Credits: Video Visual Thinking Allison Crow

Video VTS Discussion with Fourth Grade students

Licença Creative Commons

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Race Against Hunger 2011

"The Race Against Hunger is a service learning campaign that unites different cities from all over the world in the fight against global hunger and malnutrition. 

Tapping into the great potential of youth to become powerful agents of change, the Race aims to educate young too about the causes of global and domestic hunger and inspire them to be a part of the solution."

"End Hunger: Walk the World" is an annual event to raise money and awareness for WFP’s efforts to fight child hunger and malnutrition."













During the next week, educators can still  involve subject-based learning activities to educate students about the issues around global hunger. Foster a sense of community and global citizenship among students.

Some activities might be designed to meet curricula requirements so that educators can easily implement them in the classroom.
  • Enrich your curriculum by incorporating global issues into classroom activities: slogans, flyers, pins, lyrics writen by students based on music songs they love to hear.
  • Join the fight against hunger by spreading awareness in your school and community (parents, familiars, friends)
  • Help children around the world who suffer from hunger and malnutrition.

After the educational component, students will have the opportunity to become actively involved in the fight against hunger by participating in a “fun-run” event.

The Race can take place on school grounds (primary school), in a local park (elementary and secondary schools), depending on what works best for your school. 
The program designed might be tailored to fit the needs of each school.

In Portugal, the "Race Against Hunger" will take place in Lisbon and Porto, tomorrow, May 22, 2011, at 10:00 (Portuguese time).

Ferrer Correia School (Portugal)

Portuguese educators had the opportunity to involve the Portuguese students in different activities. And a lot of schools organized fun-runs against hunger.

In other cities of the world the "Race Against Hunger" have different days. So, go on the site End Hunger World Race to join a Walk in your neighborhood or to create a Walk.

Kids and educators might join familiar, friends to participate in the great race after the "fun-run" in the school or the park.

Join Walk the World on Facebook or on Twitter with hashtag @Walk_the_World.

I know of no great men except those who have rendered great service to the human race.


Copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®

Credits: video Ending Hunger


Walk the World

World Food Program

Licença Creative Commons
Race Against Hunger 2011 by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Endeavour ' live ' in Sciences classroom

The space shuttle Endeavour lifted off two days ago, May 16, for its final mission.
Tens of thousands of people crowded in and around the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida for the launch of the shuttle's 16-day voyage.
Nasa is planning just one more flight, of the Atlantis in July, before the 30-year shuttle programme is shut down.
"As Americans, we endeavour to build a better life than the generation before and endeavour to be a united nation. In those efforts we are often tested," (...). "This mission represents the power of teamwork, commitment and exploration. It is in the DNA of our country to reach for the stars and explore"
Captain Mark Kelly
Commander the flight

Photo: NASA
NASA says that since Endeavour's launch in 1992 it has travelled more than 100m miles over 25 flights. 
The six astronauts on the shuttle marked the final flight of the Endeavour by posing for a re-enactment of the poster promoting the most recent Star Trek film.

Photograph: Nasa/Reuters. 
It's impossible to ignore such an important live resource in the Sciences classroom. It's a good opportunity to encourage the students to think about space exploration and its implication to innovation and astrophysics development.

Educators have different resources for different school levels: from primary school to secondary school on NASA Education.

Endeavour crew
Photo: UPI/ Joe Marino/ Bill Cantrell
And NASA TV has a full-time HD Channel available at no cost to cable and satellite service providers. Live coverage of space shuttle mission is online now 24 hours for all. 

So, put on students' devices and link them on this fantastic 'live' classroom!

The students can watch, debate and learn about the space history since the early years until this last mission.

On NASA Education, there are available imagery from NASA’s vast array of space satellites, as well as media briefings, presentations by expert lecturers, astronaut interviews and other special events, all in the improved detail and clarity of high-definition.

The students can find a growing collection of 3D models, textures, and images from inside NASA here. All of the resources are free to download and use.

There are interactive features here.

Even more powerful the Robonaut experience.

And why not watch the video below of the very first moon landing of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969? 

Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon with his now legenday words:

 "One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind." 

Impressive at the time! Even now! And the quality of the video! It was in 1969! This is a truly amazing video!

Tomorrow, May 19 PBS NewsHour correspondent Miles O'Brien will interview the crew live between 6 and 6:30 a.m. ET. He will include some questions submitted by viewers. 

Let your students submit their own question(s) visiting the Google Moderator page set up for questions. There is one day left to submit questions.

They can also submit a question via Twitter by including the hashtag#utalk2nasa. A retweet of a tweeted question counts as a vote. The questions posed to the astronauts will be selected from the top vote-getters.

There is some time left to submit questions. Even if students don't get their questions answered, it's still a good exercise to encourage them to think about space exploration.

Do you want to talk to Endeavour? There's still time to vote and ask questions with Google, PBS and 
The students might follow all the news on Twitter @NASA. Amazing following astronauts tweets. Such an experience, isn't it?

I am sure that students will be very excited about this unexpected lesson!


Copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®



Licença Creative Commons
The Endeavour 'live' in Sciences classroom by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.