Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Holiday

Today is March 29 Good Friday. Easter is the most important Christian religious holiday and widely regarded as the second most popular holiday in general after Christmas.

The students got Easter school break. And families would like to enjoy a host of Easter egg hunts across some countries.

But Easter 2013 is the coldest Easter since 1910, they say. And it will be difficult for those kids and families to enjoy this traditional host of Easter egg hunts outdoor.

However there are a lot of activities at Museums or public Libraries in every city or town.

Many youngsters don't go to the Museum or the public library. Maybe family life is too busy. Maybe they haven't yet got the cultural habit. 

But, during these two days, you will have the time. By the way, did you know that the word "breakfast" originates from "breaking the fast" after a 40 day lent period preceding Easter?

So, many things to learn and share. But most of all so mnany good things to enjoy!

Wishing you a Happy Easter Season! Blog resumes as normal next week.


Copyright © 2013G-Souto'sBlog,®

Licença Creative Commons
Easter Holiday by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation

European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation

"A good education system should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives."

Illich, 1971

The European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation took place in Brussels, last 18-19 March 2013 at Committee of the Regions.

Committee des Regions | Brussels

Organised by the VISIR, TELMAP, ODS projects with the support of the European Commission (DG CONNECT and DG EAC) and the Committee of Regions.

This was a two day event, aiming at:
  • Mainstreaming existing e-learning grassroots innovation practices, increasing awareness about opportunities for community building and roadmapping;
  • Discussing and sharing e-learning perspectives and visions to foster innovation management, scalability and mainstreaming;
  • Providing intelligence in order to alert and inform e-learning stakeholders about developments, and trends that can affect their future plans.

European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation

During two days, more than 130 experts, practitioners, decision makers from TEL, a great number from European countries, joined to find ways to mainstream existing e-learning grassroots innovation practices, increasing awareness about opportunities for community building and roadmapping. 
A number of e-learning perspectives and visions to foster innovation management, scalability and mainstreaming were shared and discussed. 
The first day of the event focused on issues of scalability and mainstreaming through highlighting the results of existing European projects; the second day of the event addressed sector-based strategies and innovation workshops.
The event was organised through a first day of Unconference-type discussion and dissemination and a second day of sector-based strategy and innovation. An a second day sector-based strategy and innovation workshops.

«The "idea of a European learning innovation cartography" was discussed during the event, bringing the agreement to build a "living map of innovation" of TEL in Europe.»

Vana Kamtsiou
European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation

Vana  Kamtsiou opened the Unconference and in her speech described the context behind the driving question of the event: "Why has mainstreaming been so difficult?"

The three projects that organized the event presented their way towards scalablity: VISIR, TEL-Map, ODS.

Fabio Nascimbeni
European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation

The VISIR project was presented by Fabio Nascimbeni. The project aims to close three important e-learning gaps (understanding, networking, mainstreaming) featuring connecting bottom-up grassroots micro-innovation practices.

VISIR has mapped more than 120 working practices on the use of ICT in different learning areas.

One if these working practices, my micro-innovation practice Lugares & Aprendizagens (ICT & Languages, e-learning) informal learning & Secondary Education (2002).

European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation

Round-table "Towards an e-learning innovation cartography" joined Claudio Dondi (VISIR), Paul Lefrere (TEL-Me), Daniel Burgos (HoTEl), Nikolas Athanisiadi (ODS), Lieve Van den Brand (EU). Read the report here

Key-note speach "Scaling-up ICT-enabled innovation for learning: Insights from European and Asian Education Innovations" was given by Yves Punie (IPTS). Read more here

VISIR | ICT for Learning in Europe

The 19th March, three parallel sessions were organized. I was invited by Fabio Nascimbeni (VISIR) to lead with Giordano Koch and Jan Pawlowsky the Workshop 3: "Bridging formal to informal learning: cases of grassroots innovation towards scalability".

My presentation "Attractive Learning at a Digital Age: bridging formal to informal learning in Secondary Education."
Really liked to participate at the VISIR workshop. I am honored to have been invited by Fabio Nascimbeni. He believed in my expertise. Wonderful experience! Great responsibility. At the end, I was very happy! Participants followed me with much interest and attention and they congratulated me with the warmest and kind words.
Giordano Kosch was a great colleague. Jan Pawlowsky was very snob. Sometimes, college professors, not all, thanks God! don't understand that who prepared the new "wired-gen" who attend now Higher Education were the educators in Secondary Education. Students are prepared to online learning because we practice it in school.

European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation
Finally the Plenary Conclusions: "What we have learnt? Next steps for the e-learning innovation cartography". Read the conclusions on the final report here
A fantastic and instructive Seminar ! The European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation was an excellent opportunity for an interactive and personalized participation. 

New ideas and exchanging visions about TEL in Europe.

Thank you VISIR!


Copyright © 2013G-Souto'sBlog,®
Licença Creative Commons
European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

And today, Earth Hour 2013

Earth Hour

Today, Saturday 23 March, at 8:30 PM (local time), lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour.

The simple idea of switching off lights for an hour to drive action on climate change began in Australia in 2007.

"Born out of a hope that we could mobilize people to take action on climate change, Earth Hour now inspires a global community of millions of people in 7,001 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories to switch lights off for an hour as a massive show of concern for the environment."

It may only be symbolic, bu watching iconic buildings such as the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House be plunged into darkness sends a powerful message.

In 2011 more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011! 

In 2012, more than 7,000 cities and towns in 152 countries worldwide will switch off their lights for Earth Hour, making it the largest climate campaign ever! 

In Portugal, more than 90 cities and towns and 500 monuments switched off their lights such as Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Cristo-Rei and Convento de Cristo.

This year, follow the Timeline (country by country) for Earth Hour 2013 here


As you know, I have been out in Brussels to participate at the European Forum Learning Futures and Innovaton. I had to prepare my presentation the last two weeks before. And I came home on 20 March.

So, it has been difficult to me to write three posts in three days in a row. I already wrote that blogging is for inspire teachers when I have the time between work.

Students like to commit on environmental causes. A lot! They dare and they do! I wrote about Earth Hour 2011 and Talking about Earth Hour with students.

And my ex-students prepared a post on their blog Hora do Planeta 2013. They are amazing! They continue their blog even they left school. We only met on the internet now.

Please search for some activities if you like. But I am sure that you prepared your lessons carefully and your students are well motivated to dare to save the Planet, today 8:30-9:00PM (local time).

At this moment, many countries are celebrating already Earth Hour. Follow on Facebook or Twitter.

Dare the World to Save the Planet! I will dare ! 



Copyright © 2013G-Souto'sBlog,® 

Licença Creative Commons

Friday, March 22, 2013

World Water Day 2013 & Education

“International Year of Water Cooperation”


World Water Day is observed annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

The international water day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. 2013, will reflects of the International Year of Water Cooperation.

World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water and is coordinated by UNESCO in collaboration with UNECE and UNDESA on behalf of UN-Water.


As you see, educators must be prepared for all kinds of events to share and teach. March is an inspirational month! Perhaps it is about Spring?

Yesterday, it was World Poetry Day, Arbor Day and Forest International Day! Wow so much to talk about and inspire our students! 

The success of the "International Year of Water Cooperation" and the World Water Day depends on the involvement of everyone! We start this involvment in school education.

We could start with this infographic where students can vizualize the importance of Freshwater.

Freshwater is one of today’s most pressing developmental challenges, impacting food & agriculture, gender equality, health & sanitation, population & urbanization.

Some Activities WWD:

  • Promote the International Year of Water Cooperation and the World Water Day at school: use the logo, web banners on students blogs and other campaign materials;
  • Raise awareness of the benefits of water cooperation: use the brochure, the messages, case studies and success stories;
  • Share your knowledge with students, fparents, and colleagues;
  • Develop the students capacities by asking students to organize a workshop to other students and why not to some teachers;
  • Foster dialogue and cooperation among schools in countries where water could be a problem;
  • Take action by asking students to write news and articles about water for school journals or ask a radio station to cooperate with your students and get an interview to be broadcasting;
  • Send UN Water your students' pictures, artworks, videos and other creations. They wiill be shared with the world;

Levels: Every teacher must adapte the activities to school level.

Curricula: Cross-curricula.

Other Resources:

SG Ban Ki-moon video message for World Water Day

The Key Water Indicate Portal is online here

Fresh Water For All | Infographic

World Water Day: 10 facts you ought to know | Greenpeace

World Water Day: Celebrating Women's Rights | Amnesty International

Be innovative! Inspire your students!


Copyright © 2013G-Souto'sBlog,®

Licença Creative Commons
World Water Day & Education bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

World Poetry Day in school curriculum

© Peter Reynolds drawing

"In celebrating World Poetry Day, UNESCO wishes also to promote the values that poetry conveys, for poetry is a journey – not in a dream world, but often close to individual emotions, aspirations and hopes. Poetry gives form to the dreams of peoples and expresses their spirituality in the strongest terms-- it emboldens all of us also to change the world."

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

Every year on 21 March, UNESCO celebrates the World Poetry Day. A decision to proclaim 21 March as "World Poetry Day" was adopted during the UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.

The aim is to promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry:

According to UNESCO: 'World Poetry Day is an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities'.
So, Poetry Day means to support poetry, return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, promote teaching poetry, restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music, painting and so on, support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art but one.


World Poetry Day is an opportunity for children to be introduced to poetry in at school (all levels). It is a time when classrooms are busy with lessons related to poetry, in which students examine poets and learn about different types of poetry. 

Students love poetry! 

I would like to celebrate on this day the Portuguese poetry for chidren and youth. So I suggest two books from the Portuguese poet Manuel António Pina who died last October, 2012.

Manuel António Pina, awarded with the famous Prémio Camões 2011. He didn't wrote only for youth. Manuel A. Pina is one of most important Portuguese poets. His books are translated in Spanish, Danish and Bulgarian.

Children's poetry | Primary Education

Youth poetry | Secondary Education

If you are a teacher who teaches Portuguese language and literature in Portugal or foreign countries, you may like to promote Manuel António Pina poetry in your lessons in "World Poetry Day 2013".

There are other poets present on this blog: Fernando Poessoa at Google doodle celebrates Fernando Pessoa or Jorge Luis Borges at Google doodle celebrates Jorge Luis Borges.

photo: unknown

Some Activities:

  • Encourage your students to read and write their own poetry in the classroom. For some ideas, please read my post: It's About Twiiter and Poetry (World Poetry Day 2011);
  • Award your students for best and creative poems! Students love 'awards'!
  • Invite to learn from the proverbs of your country, and discover the poetic teachings of others;
  • Read up about riddles, limericks and sonnets with students to liven up your school libraries;
  • Promote a contest of poetry between different classes at you school or other schools;
  • Share some little Portuguese poems written by my students here or here (the blog is for my students in Portuguese Language curriculum): students read some traditional Portuguese riddles as inspiration for their creative written;
  • Invite a young poet to talk about his poetry with your students at school;
  • Go on the city, at book stores, metro stations, gardens, and inspire your students to read some poetry. Remember Let's Play Music! (World Music Day 2012);
  • Promote some exhibitions and poetry events in your school to be held to showcase the work of various 'young poets' (school  students) on or around March 21 to coincide more or less with "World Poetry Day";
  • Support Poetry by inviting your students and their parents buying books of young poets (sometimes, parents ask teachers for some advices about books for their chidren);
  • Support poetry on school radio, in school journals and display videos about poets! Bright Star by Jane Campion is a lovely film about poetry and John Keats' poetry;
  • Finally, if you have decided to introduce the Portuguese poet Manuel António Pina, you can display in the classroom as a motivation the video tribute to the poet (Portuguese language as mother tongue or foreign language).

All the activities must be adapted to the levels you are teaching : Primary education to Secondary and Vocational Education.

"Poetry is one of the purest expressions of linguistic freedom. It is a component of the identity of peoples and it embodies the creative energy of culture, for it can be continuously renewed".
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO


Copyright © 2013G-Souto'sBlog,®

Licença Creative Commons
World Poetry Day at school bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.