Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Great Lx International Conference 2013

"How can we bring attention of policy makers to the significant potential of games? This  issue will be addressed by the GREAT Lisbon Conference on Games & TEL."

Claudio Dondi

The Great Lx International Conference on Games and TEL took place in Lisbon, Portugal last 15-16 September 2013 at ISCTE-IUL.

The GREAT LX International Conference on Games & TEL (technology enhanced learning) was promoted by Portuguese Association of People Management (APG) partnership with ISCTE and European partnership project supported by the European Leonardo da Vinci.

The Organizing Committee Claudio Dondi, Edeberto Costa, Maja Pivec and Ana Passos joined all the speakers and participants for a full and interesting day for the future of learning in Europe

Great LX | Auditorium

Interesting opportunity to participate, listen and share the last concepts about the current paradigms and evolution of Games in Education (GBL) Training (SG) and Technology Enchanced Learninig (TEL).

The Great Lx started, on September 15th with a Social Play - Porto de Honra followed by a dinner.

The main conference began on September 16th 2013 at 9:00. The conference themes were:

Theme 1: Games

  • Serious Game
  • GBL-Games based learning
  • Gaming

Theme 2: Technology Enhanced Learning:

  • E-learning
  • Social and inclusive learning
  • ICT Contexts
  • Environments for learning
  • Collaborative Virtual Environments

Claudio Dondi

Claudio Dondi, a policy maker and influent learning thinker about European issues gave the participants guidance and experienced learning processes. EFQUEL, Menon, Scienter some references of his work.

At the Great Auditorium (Grande Auditório), the conference started with "E&T 2020 strategy powered by networks and partnerships."

Over the past years the EU has gained more and more influence in the field of lifelong learning. 

The central points for dialogues on the round table were the relevance of joining forces from various sources in a common field of battle by learning interests with eyes on the future. 

  • Networks are one of the agents for change. 
  • The paradigm shift in learning is an opportunity to blow the collaborative work of thematic networks in lifelong learning.
  • Games in Learning; Game Based Learning; Serious Games; Gaming - Findings and appreciations from recent researches The IPTS / JRC European Commission (March 2013), emphasized the importance of learning through play.

Great Lx Conference | Maja Pivec
photo: GSouto

"Game-based learning has been considered a significant approach to increase motivation of learners for a long time, and ICT has brought a lot of new options to broaden the range of learning objectives that can be addressed by games."

Claudio Dondi

"Gaming; Game Based Learning; Serious Games, Gaming: Findings and appreciations from recent researches" were at the top of dialogues at this Round Table at 11: 30,moderated by Edelberto Costa.

Maja Pivec presented a research project based in focus group and an online survey. Also presented several specific games that can be used in the learning process. 

I knew the work of Maja Pivec because we participated in 2010 at the ENGAGE Quality Awards 2010 as members of the Jury for evaluation.

Petridis Panagiotis from the Serious Games Institute (SGI), presented several games related to Health; Paul Pivec highlighted the characteristics of the games that a game designer need to considerer; Leonel Morgado introduced the new ways of learning and teaching – games change the process and the way we learn.

Great Lx Conference

After lunch and continuing at the Great Auditorium the round table "ICT for learning in the EU 2020: Findings and appreciations from recent researches" began.

I was very interested on key note speaker Claudio Dondi analysis about the role of ICT in learning moving the change on E&T and bringing a great challenge for the shift on paradigm in Europe. 

I know Claudio Dondi from different international conferences. The last one, in Brussels, at the European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovationwhere I had a presentation at VISIR workshop on the 19th March, 2013 with Giordano Koch and Jan Pawlowski.

Claudio Dondi is one of best European researcher and expert and his thoughts are always very important.

Claudio Dondi made a splendid evaluation with remarkable key notes and items that I have the chance to hear.

Great Lx Conference | Final session

Some considerations or a possible report:

For one long day, speakers, researchers, practitioners, producers, skate holders and participants shared  interesting ideas and experiences.

I joined key speakers and round tables at the Great Auditorium. I am an independent researcher on TEL and I was very curious to hear about the new ideas.

Games, TEL and MOOCs were on my best interests

I knew the work of Maja Pivec. We worked together at the ENGAGE Quality Awards 2010 as members of the Jury for Evaluation.

As an expert on Social Media Tools in Education and  trainer teachers, I am an educator and practitioner of the integration of games in school. I really know the importance of gaming to change teaching and learning in Secondary Education.

I would like to hear something new. However, it was interesting to hear the questions of some participants in the room. 

Some teachers talked about their fears and demotivation to introduce games and ICT tools in the classroom. This is not new. 

Younger teachers who teach in schools now are the ones who reveal more Informatic skills but the domain of a simple technique does not guarantee that teachers uses it easily, with clearance and with critical thinking.

Teachers must not be afraid to introduce ICT and games in Secondary Education.

I think it is a question of changing mentalities and most important, training teachers, helping them to develop a high-attuned sense of technique in the classroom.

A good final session. The speakers and the participants presented an overview about their own ideas and interests, trying to contribute to better inclusion and excellent innovation technologies in Education.

Finally the team Rapporteurs leader's communication comments and questions selected from audience and internet addressed to representatives.

I special appreciated Claudio Dondi (Scienter) evaluation on TEL and António Teixeira (EDEN) on MOOCs.

It is very important to understand the new challenges until 2020. As the final rapporteur pointed:
  • We have to work harder on the issues above. 
  • MOOCs are not inclusive. 
  • Less focus on thecnology and more in people.

Really liked a testimony of a college student talking about MOOCs. He feel more engaged on academy face to face learning and social experience between peers than online learning.

Of course there were interesting parallel sessions as The MOOC experience : "The Bright and the Dark Sides" by António Teixeira - EDEN; Natural User Interfaces: "Devices as smartphones and tablets brought several sensors into our daily life" by Antão Almada - Ydreams; "Technology Enhanced Learning: where are we heading to?" by Patrick Belpaire - European Training and Developement Federation; "The Social Learning Revolution: Knowledge workers uses social tools to work and learn" by Jane Hart - | Sara Brito - Global Estratégias and other.

Tuna Universidade Europeia | Great Lx

Break coffee and lunch were animated by Tuna Universidade Europeia (Academic Music) that cheered the network. As an ancient college student, I loved it!

Poster | Great Lx

On the lobby for launch and break coffee, the participants could read the different posters displayed on the corners as follow the last tweets about the sessions displayed on a big wall as a giant Twitter network. Great participation !

The event was broadcast live by Sapo and offered the possibility to interact with participants on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin group and Google +

Lobby | Great Lx

A fruitful and instructive conference! The "Great Lx" was an excellent opportunity for an active participation, by sharing ideas building and exchanging visions. 

A great work from all the volunteer team!


Copyright © 2013G-Souto'sBlog,®

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Great Lisbon International Conference 2013 bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Credits: Photos The Great Lisbon International Conference & GSouto

Friday, September 20, 2013

Education for Peace: International Day of Peace

Credits: UNESCO

"On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect.  Let us invest in the schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity.  Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 
International Day of Peace is celebrated on 21 September every year. This year, 2013 idevoted to peace education.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67PDF document of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September. 

The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982. Since wars begin in the minds of women and men, it in the minds of women and men that the defences of peace must be constructed. 

"Education is the foundation of any lasting peace. It is the driving force behind freedom and tolerance. It stems the tide of ignorance and mutual misunderstanding, the means by which disagreements all too often degenerate into violence. Education fosters the culture of dialogue that is necessary to resolve conflicts."

Irina Bokova, message

Credits: UN

UNESCO campaigns for quality education for all going further than the basics of reading and writing. 

Education must encompass the teaching of human rights, living together and respect for others

Peace education is one of its key components. Every child in the world should know their rights, and learn their own history and that of other peoples, so as to be able to understand the equal dignity of cultures and draw lessons from the crimes and violence of the past.

The key to tolerant citizenship in a globalized world requires a widespread effort to train teachers and design suitable school curricula. 

These principles inspire UNESCO’s work, in particular through the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference and the United Nations General Assembly.

Credits: Peter H. Reynolds


Of course celebrating International Day of Peace is only a start to motivate students to practice a peace behaviour in the school and along adult life. So, we can develop this theme every moment of the curriculum we teach.

There's a new young generation of peace minds, believe me!

Ideas for activities with your students:

1. Designate a webpage on the website of the school to build a digital pledge on peace education;

2. 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 peace through works of art, photos, storytellings;

3. Organize exhibits of photos or drawings or texts/poems/news about peace in school or other public spaces near the school;

4. Set up information stands on Internet, social media (radio, television) or social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google +) to raise school awareness on the issue;

5. Ask students to search on their tablets, smartphones about human rights in your country;
6. Ask students to choose a little theater piece to perform in the school library and invite parents, teachers, the maire, and students from another school;
7. Present a film on this theme in the classroom or in the school library, and invite teachers, parents, and other students to a round table discussion;

8. Make a film (if the school have a YouTube account) joining authentic documents (photos) and texts written by students, personal testimonies of violence and publish it;
9. Ask students to prepare information brochures, flyers, pins, to distribute in your school and community.

Credits: Vision of Humanity

Impressive this video about Global Peace in 2013!

We must not forget Peace One Day movementThroughout the years, millions of people have been active on Peace Day in every country of the world, and hundreds of organisations have carried out life-saving activities in areas of conflict. Peace One Day’s Campaigns and activities in Education, Music, Film, Sport, Dance, Art and Online have proved that the day works.

If you are preparing some activities, fill out the short form here and Peace One Day will share your inspiring ideas and plans for the day with its worldwide community of supporters, and multiply the impact of your important work.

In a world in complete change, young people have a relevant voice to demonstrate their critical thinking and creative ideas about a new intercultural dialogue, interconnectedness, capacity building, in order to innovate the society and build a different world  through important values as Peace and Culture.

"We must give to future generations a culture of dialogue and build, through education, a world that is not only more connected, but also more compassionate."

Irina Bokova, message


Copyright © 2013G-Souto'sBlog,®

Education for Peace Resources:

Education for Peace | UN
Resources for Culture of Peace and Non-Violence | UNESCO

Education Resources | Peace One Day

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Education for Peace: International Day of Peace bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

August roundown of the most-read posts

Credits: © GSouto
Sunset on Atlantic Ocean at Porto

I know I know! Your saying August roundown of the most-read posts on September 19? Ok! You know I can explain!

First week of September, i was enjoying my summer holiday in Paris. It has been wonderful! Walking on the streets of Paris, all along the 'quais' de la Seine, traversing the beautiful bridgesvisiting Musée d'Orsay, Petit Palais Museum, Centre Pompidou, some monuments, the Bagatelles parc, attending two concerts. Oh! So nice. I had an incredible time!

Back home, I had the time to write just one post about MEDEA Awards before travelling again for two days.

This time, on work! I went to Lisbon to attend the Great Lisbon Conference on Games and TEL. Later, I will write my impressions about the conference.

But now, let's doing about August roundown. This is the five posts in my Summer Learning School Series of August. These are some posts with resources, tips and tools for you to try something  new or something you can take to your classroom now that we're all back to school. 

I added seven posts, on different subjects in August. Here my list of the 5 most-read of the month - presented in most reading order - together with a quote or two.

My frequent readers know that I write in three different languages: English, Français and Português.

And I am glad to see that the most-read post of August is Musique au collège: Debussy & Google doodle (en français). If you are my regular reader you know I am pledging for Music as a serious curriculum in shool education.

Google Doodle Debussy

Je ne pourrais pas perdre ça! Google Doodle rend hommage à Claude Debussy! Aujourd'hui, 22 août 2013, le compositeur français fait l'objet d'un Doodle mondial de la part de Google.

En effet, la célébration du 151ème anniversaire de la naissance de Claude Debussyest marquée par une animation sur la page d’accueil du géant de la recherche.

La Musique a toujours occupé une place particulière sur mon blog et dans mes cours de Langues. Selon moi, l'enseignement de la musique doit faire partie d'une éducation intégrale de tous les enfants, dès les premières années.

Apporter des connaissances sur la musique, développer des compétences pour écouter et produire la musique, doivent former les deux axes pédagogiques majeurs de l’éducation musicale dans l’enseignement scolaire. 

On connait bien ses bénéfices! La concentration, coordination, mémoire, auto-estime, joie, entre autres.

Pour l'instant, je vous propose juste de faire une belle motivation en introduisant le Doodle interatif 'free' dédié à Debussy dans l'une de vos leçons.

Disciplines: Langues; Musique; Arts (l'interdisciplinarité est bien venue)

Outils: Tablettes tactiles, smartphones, iphones.

La rentrée 2013. Allez! On y est depuis le 3 Septembre. Beaucoup de nouvelles réformes.

Ma pensée va aux 'nouveaux' jeunes enseignants! C'est tellement dur les premiers jours de cours! Et sans formation! Les rythmes,  les élèves - oh! ils ont le flair quand ils regardent les professeurs 'nouveaux' - et l'année sera difficile! Faut pas dire non.

Heureusement, il y a toujours des profs plus expérimentés qui vous soutiendront! N'hésitez pas d'appeler 'au secours' quand vous vous sentez paniquer!

Vacances, rythme scolaire, matières, évaluations... qu'est-ce qui va changer cette nouvelle année?

Certaines réformes seront mises en place, à commencer par celle des rythmes scolaires. 

Un meilleur accompagnement des jeunes professeurs

Ah! Voilà! On pense aux jeunes enseignants! La formation

Tout le monde sait que l'une des grosses difficultés des jeunes enseignants ces dernières années, c'était le manque de formation. Ils ne bénéficiaient plus d’une formation à la gestion d’une classe, et étaient catapultés directement dans les salles de cours, souvent dans des zones sensibles. 

Des écoles supérieures du professorat et de l’éducation (ESPE) seront créées dès la rentrée.  

Les professeurs y feront une formation pratique pour apprendre à enseigner, transmettre leur savoir, gérer mieux une classe agitée, savoir introduire les technologies. Pas si faciles que ça bien qu'ils appartiennent déjà tous à l'ère du numérique.

"In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they’ve never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. What is it like to be a child in these new education superpowers?"

Parents and Teachers:The Smartest Kids in the World. Amanda Ripley's new book is on sale since August 13, 2013. It chronicles life inside the world's new education superpowers.

In the new book, The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way, the journalist for Time and The Atlantic magazines, and author Amanda Ripley sets the scene for what is turning out to be battle for the soul of US Education.

Using PISA 2009 results as the backbone of her story, Ripley sets out to find out why it is that American students are falling behind their contemporaries in countries that aren’t as wealthy or innovative as the United States.

“PISA could not tell me how those countries got so smart, or what life was like for kids in those countries, day in and day out, compared to life in America,” 

Amanda Ripley's book 

Credits video: Amanda Ripley's website 

So, she followed three Americans embedded in these countries for one year. Kim, 15-year-old, moving from Oklahoma to Finland; Eric, 18-year-old, exchanging a high-achieving Minnesota suburb for a booming city in South Korea for a year; and Tom, 17, leaving a historic Pennsylvania village for a gritty city in Poland

According to Amanda Ripley, parents have a critical role to play - but not always in the way we think. Effective parents "let their children make mistakes and then get right back to work. They teach them good habits and give them autonomy," 

Perseid 2012
David Harpe, Boulder USA

"We have found that one meteor shower produces more fireballs than any other," (...) "It's the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on August 12th and 13th."

Bill Cooke, NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office 

Catching the Falling Stars: Science curriculum. According to NASA research, the upcoming Perseid meteor shower produces more fireballs — bright meteors that streak across the sky — than any other annual shower, earning it the title of "fireball".

Of course, you must keep the idea of the beauty and the pedagogical watching of this marvelous summer falling stars shower.


Most of us were on vacation. But students could watch this exciting event of the summer with family or in campus summer.

Back to school, i you are a Sciences teacher you can do amazing lessons displaying this video or other to explain the Perseid show.

"The Perseid are the highlight of the astronomical calendar and a must see! They are ideal for those who want to see a meteor/ shooting star for the first time.

"Every child needs nature. Not just the ones with parents who appreciate nature. Not only those of a certain economic class or culture or gender or sexual identity or set of abilities. Every child."
Richard Louv

Education: Time for Vitamine 'N'. It is not the first time I write about the importance of Nature in Education. Children's Day: let's go outdoor; Environmental Education and outdoorWorld Environmental Day in School EducationIberian wolf as environmental education; are some of the publications on my blog. My regular readers know well.

So The Nature Principle and Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv could be interesting for parents and for teachers, of course if they are new for you.


Research suggests that exposure to the natural world – including nearby nature in cities – helps improve human health, well-being, and intellectual capacity in ways that science is only recently beginning to understand.

What do we know about how human beings, particularly children and young people are affected by the absence of nature’s intrinsic benefits? 

And teachers! Believe it! Nature is also good for stimulating creativity. Research shows that children play more creatively in free, outside space and will be more creative in school activities.

Well, we all deserve some vacation after a good school year. And summer time is the most most enjoyable time of the year. Hoping you had a wonderful summer time break and you are back to school fresh and full of new ideas to share with your students in the classroom.


Copyright © 2013G-Souto'sBlog,®

Licença Creative Commons
August rundown of the most-read posts bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.