Friday, June 29, 2012

Schools : European Green Capital 2014 : preparing your lessons ?

Here I am writing again about Environmental education in curricula! And again I'm writing about European Green Capital.

So, after Stockholm 2010, Hamburg 2011, Vitoria-Gasteiz is very proud to be the European Green Capital for 2012.

Vitoria-Gasteiz, founded in 1181, is second in size (only to Bilbao) in the Basque Country, and has some 240,000 people currently inhabiting this gem in northern Spain.


Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital of the Álava province and of the Basque Country.  The city holds the title of European Green Capital in 2012.

Last week, 20th June, the European Commission launched the search for the "European Green Capital 2015". This exciting competition will decide who will hold the European Green Capital Award for 2015. 
"The award was created in 2006 in Estonia, to recognise the efforts of European cities to solve environmental problems and improve the quality of life for their citizens."

European Green Capital Award aims to reward progress made and to encourage cities to commit to future environmental improvement and sustainable development. 
The awarded cities also provide a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices and experiences in all other European cities. 
So far four cities, Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Nantes 2013, have been awarded the prestigious title form 2010 to 2013.
"Over the last four years the European Green Capital has been impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of the entering cities. The four cities that have been awarded the title have been the epitome of green cities and have exceeded as models to the rest of Europe."

Today, on June 29, 2012, one of the three shortlisted cities – Bristol, Copenhagen and Frankfurt – will join the ranks of European Green Capital and will be awarded. The winner city will take the title over from Nantes in 2014. 
The winner of the European Green Capital Award for 2014 will be announced in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The award will be given to the city that best embodies the European Green Capital Award values. That is a city that:
  • Has a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards;
  • Is committed to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development;
  • Can act as a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices to all other European cities. 

green generation
credits: unknown
via Trillium 

"Our parents were the anti-war generation. Our generation is the environmental generation"

Edward Norton, actor and UN goodwill ambassador for biodiversity

You know I am a huge fan of Environmental education in school no matter the curriculum. Environmental education must be tought as a cross-curricular.

All teachers must be "green" and help the new generations to involve in educational projects, national or international, about Environment.
Schools have an important role promoting environmental education as a Civics value across all school curricula.

I have already published different posts about environment and education along the years on this blog. You can watch the list on Environmental Education in curricula

Students are publishing two green blogs since 2005: Geração Verde and Geração Polar.

For years, I shared my "green" ideas with the students in Languages and IT 
curriculum. And they were very excited about new environmental ideas.

Today, I know that a new young generation  are young citizens who care about Environment and practice "green acts" every day. Some of them now as young adults are involved as volunteers in different NGO's.

Level: All levels;

Curriculum: Cross-curricular;

  • A comparing study about the different European Green Capitals; 
  • Make-off of a video; 
  • Storytelling using iPad; 
  • e-Portfolio preparation about traditions from the green citiies; 
  • Intercultural e-projects with schools from one of the "European Green Capital"; 
  • Social networks: Twitter or Facebook school accounts for projects dissemination;

Educators can also provide some resources to help students learning for a sustainable future. There are a lot of educational green websites, offering digital resources.

Students will evolve in creative "green" projects  that they will share with families, friends, green 
schools and their own cities.

"Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us."

 Henrik Tikkanen 


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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Sea of Words: Euro-Mediterranean contest

A Sea of Words 2012 is being held again with the aim of contributing to the encouragement of dialogue between peoples, and exchange of knowledge and experiences between different local and international traditions. 

In the framework of the European Year for Solidarity between Generations, 2012 theme is aimed at "promoting the vision and expectations of young people about their future and the contact between different generations of Euro-Mediterranean societies."

"The contest is aimed at the production of short stories whose content is related to the creation and/or consolidation of dynamics aiming to reinforce volunteering activities, one of the active citizenship elements to promote intergenerational solidarity, the evolution of values and societies, and the expression of different sensitivities and realities of young people in the region.

Literary production is a fundamental means for the expression and description of facts, ideas and emotions that can be directly transmitted to and by young people all over the Euro-Mediterranean region. From this point of view, the object is to obtain literary stories – based on reality and purely fictional – that describe different experiences of children, parents and grandparents facing the future."

Calls and Conditions:

The Anna Lindh Foundation and the European Institute of the Mediterranean are calling the 5th edition of the international short story contest A Sea of Words.


Young people from the 42 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean space. 

The contest is aimed at the production of short stories focusing on the issues of children, parents and grandparents facing the future, with the objective of showing the different sensitivities and realities in the Euro-Mediterranean region, from the point of view of the youths who live there.


"Youth Future and the Dialogue Between Generations"

Participation Requisites:

Young people aged between 18 and 30 that are citizens of one of the 42 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean space.

Story formats:

The short stories cannot exceed a length of 2,500 words and can be written in any of the official languages of the participant countries. 
They must be original and unpublished works. The short stories must address issues related to intercultural dialogue, mainly of a political, socio-cultural, economic and environmental nature.

Deadline and Place of Submission of the Stories:

All the short stories must be sent to the following email address:

To submitt the short stories, authors must attach their personal details:
  • names and surnames, 
  • date of birth, 
  • nationality, 
  • postal address
  • e-mail

12 midnight on 30th June 2012

Participation in the contest implies the surrendering to the IEMed and the Anna Lindh Foundation of the copyright of the contestant’s short story. The Anna Lindh Foundation and the IEMed reserve the right to publish and use the short stories received for their future activities.

If you are working on it, bravo! If not yet, just on time to create a short story about the Mediterranean region where you live.

It is always interesting to participate in an intercultural project and share your own traditions with other people who live in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Good luck!


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Anna Lindh Foundation

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UNESCO World OER Congress

UNESCO World OER Congress

In partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and through the  support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, UNESCO is organizing the 2012 World Open Educational Resources Congress. UNESCO World OER Seminar and exhibit will take place next week, June 22-24 2012 in Paris.
The aims of the Congress are to:
  • Release the 2012 Paris OER Declaration;
  • Showcase the world’s best practices in Open Educational Resources policies, initiatives, and experts;
  • and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2002 UNESCO Forum that coined the term Open Educational Resources (OER).

"The Congress aims to encourage more governments to adopt policies that include OER and will bring together Ministers of Education/Human Resource Development, senior policy makers, expert practitioners, researchers, students and many other relevant stakeholders."
It is a 2-stream event with discussions by all stakeholders on the Paris OER Declaration focusing on governmental actions for OER, and a parallel second stream focusing on an Open Seminar & Exhibition of the world’s best OER practices, policies, and initiatives.
"To provide an opportunity to civil society organizations, academia, and individual experts to present on their Open Educational Resources initiatives, UNESCO is organizing a parallel Open Seminar & Exhibition from 21 to 22 June 2012 in UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France."
The Open Seminar & Exhibition is organized in full partnership with OER Africa, a SAIDE initiative.

UNESCO invites us to  envolve:
Twitt about the Congress using the hashtag #oercongress
Or Follow the Congress at!/unescoNOW

It is my honor to attend the Congress and participate at the Seminar and Exhibition. I will present an academic Poster about a research on the use of OER in Secondary Education.

These two last weeks, I had no time to publish any post on my blog! Please, forgive me!  I'm still there! And I continue to share some ideas about ICT and Education when I will back.

I am very excited! I am sure that a lot of new ideas and concepts will be dicussed and shared!  It will be great to write about the the event. 

I will share some important ideas with you about the sessions and discussions. I am a huge fan of OER in school curriculum.

Paris | unknow author

Meanwhile, it is awesome to visit Paris, after 10 years, (ya... ten years!). Paris, the beautiful city I visited with my parents when I a was a little girl.

It has been in Paris that I study for somewhile, some years later. And it was in Paris, as a young teacher that I got my first specialisation on producing videos and games based learning in the 80's - pedagogy comes and goes - just now that we are talking again about using videos and games in the classroom.

Ii has been in Paris, one year later, that I got my specialisation on TV School, as Distance Education teacher and producer (French language), at CNDP.Fr and BELC, two important references of School TV. Serious and creative work we did  there.

It will be so nice next saturday, after three days of work, to walk on Paris "me badaler dans les rues de Paris", re-visiting some good Art museums,  "aller sur le bord de la Seine pour apprécier les bouquinistes, traverser un ou deux ponts, les plus beaux sur la Seine, et remonter au Sacré-Coeur pour admirer à nouveau cette magnifique vue panoramique qu'on a sur la belle ville de Paris."

À bientôt!


20 June 2012
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Human rights and social justice? Let's end child labour!


"The children concerned in child labour should be at school being educated, and acquiring skills that prepare them for decent work as adults."

By entering the labour market prematurely, they are deprived of this critical education and training that can help to lift them, their families and communities out of a cycle of poverty."

Last week I wrote about Child poverty in developed countries. Watching David, I realized how important it is to draw attention to situations such as students living below poverty line in schools we teach as well the country we live.

Today is World Day Against Child Labour. So, here I am writing once again about Human Rights and Children Rights and the right of all children to be protected from poverty or from child labour, another violation of fundamental human rights.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the first "World Day Against Child Labour" in 2002 to highlight the plight of these children. 

June 12th is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour, to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.

Hundreds of millions of young people, girls and boys throughout the world, are engaged in work that deprives them of "adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms", violating their rights. 

"A large gap remains between the ratification of Conventions on child labour and the actions countries take to deal with the problem", the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a report marking the tenth anniversary of the annual World Day Against Child Labour

Among these children more than half is exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.

To mark World Day Against Child Labour 2012 events are taking place in more than 50 countries around the world. 

Events range from high level policy debates, to public debates, media events, awareness-raising campaigns, cultural performances and other public activities involving governments, employers and workers, other UN organizations and non-governmental organisations.  

A summary of some of the events and activities in Africa, Americas, Arab States, Asia, Europe and Central Asia can be accessed here

The World Day Against Child Labour campaign provides an opportunity to gain further support of individual governments and that of the ILO social partners, civil society and others, including schools, youth and women’s groups as well as the media.


Credits: video ILOTV 

All schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Teachers and students worldwide are speaking out against child labour in the classroom and taking action to raise further awareness of this issue out school. 

They are spreading knowledge among their peers, acting as a voice for those children whose rights are not respected and calling on decision-makers to act urgently to protect children in danger. 

Teachers have a crucial role on the alert of poverty or child labour cases among their students.

Numerous tools and initiatives exist to inspire and motivate students of all ages, from primary school through to university, on the subject of child labour.

Here some lesson ideas for middle and secondary education. The teacher will be a learning facilitator not a presenter of content. Trust me!


1. Choose a wall in the classroom or a space in the school - school library for  example - where students from different curricula can display their depictions of child labour through works of art, photos, storytellings;

2. Organize exhibits of photos or drawings on child labour in school or other public spaces;

3. Set up information stands on Internet, social media (radio, television) or social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google +) to raise school awareness on the issue;
4. Perform a theatre piece at the school library and invite parents, teachers, the maire and students from another school;
5. Present a film on this theme in the classroom or at the school library, and invite teachers, parents, and other students to a round table discussion;

6. Do a search on child labour in your own country;
7. Make a film joining authentic documents (photos) and texts written by the students and publish it on YouTube;
8. Prepare information brochures and distribute them in your school and community;
9. Prepare interviews with local radio or authorities & prominent personalities in your town in collaboration with local media;

Some thoughts:
And what about the teacher role? We spend our time speaking with our students. We are answering questions, working with small groups, and guiding the learning of each student individually. Wonderful! 
Since the role of the teacher has changed, to more of a tutor or facilitator than a deliverer of content, you and I have the privilege of observing students interact with each other. 
As we have time to roam around the class, we notice the students developing their own collaborative groups.  Students are helping each other learn instead of relying on the teacher as the sole disseminator of knowledge. 
It is magical to observe! And at the end you will have some creative activities all them elaborated by the students.
When we respect our students in this way, they usually correspond. They realize, and for some it takes time, that we are there to guide them in their learning instead of being the authoritarian pedagogue.
Our students will participate actively in the World Day Against Child Labour 2012 for sure, and they will become engaged young citizens.
"There is no room for complacency when 215 million children are still labouring to survive and more than half of these are exposed to the worst forms of child labour, including slavery and involvement in armed conflict. We cannot allow the eradication of child labour to slip down the development agenda — all countries should be striving to achieve this target, individually and collectively"
Juan Somavia, ILO Director-General


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International Labour Organization: World Day Against Child Labour 2012