Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Apps in Education :Depths, a game to explore the oceans

Depths | Immersive World

Na pesquisa de novas ideias e/ou recursos educativos digitais para partilhar com educadores, de modo a integrar as ICT nos curriculos de forma criativa. E depois de The Tortoise and the Hare in ARJanela para o Passado, Words (languages), Let's play the FluteCaso Doca 21, eis uma nova aplicação (app), um recurso digital que poderá ser introduzido nos curriculos de  Ciências da Natureza.

Depths é um jogo produzido pela produtora portuguesa Immersive World, e foi lançado em 2014, primeiro para Android, mais tarde também para IOS.

Objectivos da app:

O projecto pretende levar os alunos/jogadores a explorar o fundo dos mares, através de um jogo com vários níveis: explorar; encontrar tesouros; gerir obstáculos naturais, sobreviver.

screenshot Depths game


Depths pode ser um recurso educativo que levará os alunos a explorar o fundo dos mares.

Um jogo interessante, interactivo, a utilizar na exploração do mundo subaquático, os oceanos, perigos e descobertas, nos currículos de ciências da natureza.

Depths é uma aventura subaquática que leva os alunos/jogadores numa jornada de exploração submarina que é uma “mistura de Time Trial e Exploração”. 

screenshot Depths game

A bordo de um submarino, o aluno/jogador poderá viajar através de um mundo misterioso de corais, ruínas e algas. 

Querem um recurso educativo digital mais apelativo? Estou certa que os vossos alunos irão aderir de imediato a esta actividade pedagógica, através do jogo.
A aplicação (app), anteriormente disponível apenas para Android, na Google Play, chegou mais tarde à App Store

Curriculos : Ciências Naturais ; Ciências da Natureza.

Níveis de Ensino : Ensino Básico : 2º ciclo, 3º ciclo.

Classificação : 9+ pelo uso pouco moderado de violência em desenhos animados e fantasia.

Apps : Gratuita - as duas versões são gratuitas. 

Nota: É imprescindível, como com todos os recursos digitais que utilizamos nas nossas aulas, fazer o visionamento prévio, reflectir sobre o conteúdo, e verificar se se adaptam ao nível etário dos alunos, e ao nível de ensino que leccionamos. 

Nunca introduzir um recurso educativo sem um cuidadoso trabalho de preparação e selecção dos recursos que pretendemos introduzir nos nossos currículos. 

Equipamentos: : iPhone ; iPad ; Android.
Compatibilidade: iOS 5.0 ou posterior. Compatível com iPhone, iPad e iPod touch. Esta app está optimizada para iPhone 5.

Onde encontrar:

Depths is an original application (app) to explore the oceans. Created by a Portuguese entreprise, Immersive World, in 2014, first for Android, now iPad and iPhone.

screenshot Depths game

The ocean Depths' await! Hop on your Submarine, fill up your air tanks and dive into a vibrant underwater world!

Do you want  better way to introduce this awesome game into your sciences curriculum?

Depths is a free game, an exploration game for students with quick reflexes and agile minds. Wow! Your students will love to play it, learning about the oceans.

Depths | Immersive World


Fast Ocean currents, Giant Sharks, Wondrous sights, Ancient civilizations, Epic Treasure and much more await your students in the Depths.

Will they answer the calling? No doubt !

screenshot Depths game

But beware young Explorer, for the ocean Depths hold many obstacles, creatures and mazes!

In each Level, students/gamers must navigate their Submarine to the next Level's Doorway, collect the Lost Treasure and beat the Time Trial!

Curricula : Sciences; Environment.

Levels : Elementary Education +9 years-old due some soft violence of the design fantasy.

Apps : Free - both versions are free

Gadgets : iPhone ; iPad ; Android.
Compatibility : Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Where to find:

screenshot Depths game

Some thoughts:

My usual readers know me, always searching new ideas and digital resources to help the integration of ICT in Education. Educational digital resources are fundamental tools in the XXI century.

Perhaps you still remember some of my posts on Portuguese apps The Tortoise and the Hare in ARJanela para o Passado (Portuguese History), Words (languages)Let's play the Flute, Comics in Education : Caso Doca 21

There are so many games, apps, educational digital resources to include into your lessons, making learning fun, that you will find making some searching on  G-Souto's Blog along the years.

Important note:

Never introduce a resource into your lessons without prepare it previously. You must watch the game, app or other resource, analyze if the content is good or adapted to the age of your students, the level and the curriculum you are teaching.

Remember it! This preliminary work, a good preparation, is fundamental to the success of your lessons.


Copyright © 2015G-Souto'sBlog,®

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Apps in Education : Depths, a game to explore the oceans bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Intenational Mother Language Day : Languages matter !

International Mother Language Day 2015 | Unesco

The focus for the post - 2015 agenda must fall on the priority of advancing quality education for all -- widening access, ensuring equality and inclusiveness, and promoting education for global citizenship and sustainable development. Education in the m other language is an essential part of achieving these goals -- to facilitate learning and to bolster skills in reading, writing and mathematics. "

Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General

Each year on 21 February, UNESCO invites people to recognize and celebrate mother languages on International Mother Language Day (IMLD). 

International Mother Language Day 2015 | Unesco

So, tomorrow, we are celebrating IMDL 2015And the theme for 2015 is:

“Inclusive Education through and with Language - Languages matter.” 

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

2015 marks the 15th anniversary of International Mother Language Day. This is is also a turning point year, as the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals.

"The focus for the post-2015 agenda must fall on the priority of advancing quality education for all - widening access, ensuring equality and inclusiveness, and promoting education for global citizenship and sustainable development."

Education in the mother language is an essential part of achieving these goals, to facilitate learning and to bolster skills in reading, writing and mathematics

It requires a sharper focus on:
  • Teaching training 
  • Revisions of academic programmes 
  • Creation of suitable learning environments.

Mother Language Day Infographics
Since 2000, there has been tremendous progress to reach the goals of Education for All. 

International Mother Language Day is a moment for all of us to raise the flag for the importance of mother tongue to all educational efforts, to enhance the quality of learning and to reach the unreached. 

Every girl and boy, every woman and man must have the tools to participate fully in the lives of their societies – this is a basic human right and it is a force for the sustainability of all development.

Mother Language Day 2011

There are approximately 7,000 languages spoken in the world and approximately half of them are at least vulnerable of becoming critically endangered, if not extinct. 
The two foremost reasons why languages die are:
  • People in small communities who choose to learn and speak a more widely-used language ultimately replace their native language.
  • A language is imposed on them by government.
Some information:

Most linguists predict that by the year 2100, 90 percent of the world's languages would become extinct. In a largely globalized world, this reality is apparent, especially with the dominance of English at all levels of life. 

Languages become endangered for many reasons, starting from colonisation, wars, and genocide to globalisation. 

Languages are considered to be endangered when the number of speakers or the number of people claiming it as their own deplete and also when it loses relevance and prominence in the social and cultural spheres.

Languages education counts

Today, ½ of the world’s 6700 languages are in danger of disappearing. About 96% are spoken by only 4% of the world population. Language loss impoverishes humanity. It’s a blow to everyone’s rights to be heard, to learn & communicate

For UNESCO, “appropriate language education” is fundamental to enable learners to benefit from quality education, learn throughout life, and have access to information.  

This is possible if there is an approach to language education that promotes the use of at least three languages: one of which should be a mother tongue or first language.
Language education can also be seen as a means to ensure that, down the road, learners participate as global citizens, acting for change at both the local and global levels.

Languages count for Education

Language education also offers a framework for transmitting values and knowledge that strengthen a sense of belonging to both local and global communities, which are the starting point of civic engagement
But much remains to be done to make sure language education does generate such returns. 

"During the celebration of Mother Language Day 2015, we will review the challenges to the implementation of “appropriate language education” and highlight examples of good practices  in this area, which can inspire Member States and partners to support its development and use."


Some thoughts:

A language lives through the people who speak it. Therefore, teaching kids their inherited language is the best thing to do to keep that language alive. 

Reviving a language is possible: the Mirandês - Mirandese languageis a Romance language, sparsely spoken in a small area of northeastern Portugal was on the verge of exctintion (only a few speakers), now being taught in schools.

Same to the Yurok language, one of the 90 languages of California, which was on the verge of extinction, is now being taught in schools.

When we lose a language, we lose a cultural heritage, the special ways different people express their relationships, their families, and the world that they see.

Language acquisition and mother tongue literacy should ideally be supported by written resources such as - but not limited to - books, primers and textbooks, to support oral activities. Written materials in mother tongues reinforce learners’ literacy acquisition and build strong foundations for learning.

Technolgy is allowing many languages to increase audience by establishing a presence on YouTube, social networks as Facebook, Twitter or mobile phones by texting.


  • Propose to your students to tweet in their mother Language on February 21 about why it's imprtant to use their native language. Of course you must prepare the tweets before being published on Twitter;
  • Follow that tweet with a translation so that more people following along can read their message;
  • Add a hashtag to their tweet, for example #(the name of the language they are writing in).
  • Follow along the hashtag,#imld15 to see messages from around the world in different languages and retweet some of them (foreign languages they are learning) to help amplify the messages.
  • Wherever in the world you may be, and whatever language you speak, ask your students to record and share with a school from another country, different language, a video of they saying a particular phrase in their native tongue. And asking to foreign schoolmates to do the same for a linguistic exchange.

Google Translate


Google Translate is celebrating International Mother Language Day worldwide! 

Google is the first company to bring this important day to celebrate in a meaningful way to improve your language.

Finally the dream come true! Visit to check it out! 

"International Mother Language Day is a moment for all of us to raise the flag for the importance of mother tongue to all educational efforts, to enhance the quality of learning and to reach the unreached. Every girl and boy, every woman and man must have the tools to participate fully in the lives of their societies – this is a basic human right and it is a force for the sustainability of all development."

Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General 

credits video: Lakehead University


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International Mother Language Day : Languages matter bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Schools : Alessandro Volta : Electrical Science : Resources

Alessandro Volta 
Line engraving by G. Bonatti after G. Garavaglia
via Pavia University History Museum

The 18th century Italian physicist, chemist and electrical pioneer Alessandro Volta invented the first electrical battery.

Volta was born on this day, 18 February in 1745. Volta was particularly successful in his electrostatic studies: his research on electroscopes, which he modified into electrometers, were fundamental. He also invented the condensing electroscope and the perpetual electrophorus – the first induction electrostatic machine.

Google Doodle : Alessandro Volta 270th Anniversary
Mark Holmer, doodler

Google Doodle:

Once again, Google surprises us. Today's Doodle honors Alessandro Volta, who invented an early form of the electric battery in 1799. 

February 18, 2015 Google Doodle pays tribute to the inventor of one of the most significant inventions till date. It celebrates the 270th birthday of the battery inventor Alessandro Volta.

"Having done my initial research I didn’t want to just settle on using Volta’s portrait for the Doodle, especially since most of the world wouldn’t recognize him. I wanted instead to represent his accomplishment."

Mark Holmer, artist doodler

A click on the Doodle shows the battery charging and Google lighting up simultaneously. Another click takes you to a Google search of Alessandro Volta's links about his life and works.

Alessandro Volta

Some biographical information:

Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta was the 18th century Italian physicist, natural philosopher, chemist and electrical pioneer who invented battery in the 1800s. 

Born in 1745 in the town of Como in what is now northern Italy, Volta was the son of a nobleman. He became a professor of physics in 1774 at Como’s Royal School before going on to work on the development of the “electrophorus”, a device that produced static electricity.

Volta’s invention consisted of discs of different metals, including copper and zinc, separated by cardboard that had been soaked in brine.

He was also the first person to isolate methane which further led to the discovery that methane mixed with air could be exploded with an electric spark.

Luigi Galvani
Unidentified painter

The turning point for Volta’s development of the battery was in 1780, when his friend Luigi Galvani discovered that contacting two different metals with the muscle of a frog resulted in the generation of an electric current.

Volta came to the conclusion that it was the liquid in the frog’s leg that was important rather than the frog itself. The same effect was achieved after he replaced the leg with paper soaked in brine. 

Volta whose skepticism of Luigi Galvani’s theory of animal electricity led him to propose that an electrical current is generated by contact between different metals.

Volta began experimenting in 1794 with metals alone and found that animal tissue was not needed to produce a current.

Victorian posters

Within just weeks it inspired a wave of discoveries and inventions and ushered in a new age of electrical science.

In 1881, scientists decided that the unit of electric potential would be called the volt to recognize Volta’s great contributions to electrical science.

Volta’s theoretical and experimental work in this area resulted in his construction of the first battery. Known as the 'voltaic pile'.

Voltaic pile
Alessandro Volta
Tempio Voltiano/ Como, Italia

Apart from these inventions, Alessandro Volta was a natural philosopher quite a traveler and was a master of many languages. His proficiency in Latin, French, German and English helped him in travelling across the whole of Europe.

Alessandro Volta and Napoleon Bonaparte, 1801 
Epistolario di Alessandro Volta, Vol. III, 1951, BGUC

Just six years later, Volta invented the first electric battery, which he would go on to showcase at year later in front of Napoleon in Paris. The leader was so impressed that he made Volta a count and senator of the kingdom of Lombardy.

Later, the emperor of Austria made him director of the philosophical faculty at the University of Padua in 1815.

Alessandro Volta 
Line engraving by G. Bonatti after G. Garavaglia
credits: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

After being made a count in 1810 by Napoleon Bonaparte, Volta retired in 1819 
at the age of 74. He decided it was time to hang up his capacitors, his voltaic piles, his electrophorus, and his administrative work at the university.

Volta lived in Como, Italy, his home city, until his death, aged 82, on March 5, 1827

A museum, Tempio Voltiano was later built in his memory which displayed some of the experimental equipment.

A physics lab at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California

credits: Harvey Mudd College


Along the years, I included some interesting doodles of the day into school curricula. It's a different and captivate digital resource and it can surprise your students to start a lesson or to reinforce a point that we are trying to teach in our lessons.

Doodles are a fun, and sometimes, spontaneous changes that we can include into our lessons to teach about famous writersartspioneers in different areas, and scientists.

Reading Volta's biography, I realize once more how sciences and humanities go together. We can be good in both, it's a matter of natural curiosity to learn more and more.

Physicists were predominantly male. However time is changing. Studies have shown that females are in science labs in college. 



Here some activities that I think might involve your students. Of course you are free to propose your own ideas:

  • Organize an open day (today or/and next week) at your schools with students to highlight the importance of science for the world development;
  • Ask your students to visit the World Library of Science onlineThe World Library of Science is a free online resource for a global community. You will find a complete information and resources.
  • Open discussions in the classroom to emphasize how many different ways science & technologies touch our daily lives;
  • Contact school newspaper coordinator to highlight the importance of celebrating Volta in science;
  • Ask your students to write articles, news, or create comics, in the classroom about the importance of science for sustainable societies and include the best works in the school newspaper;
  • Build classroom-to-classroom connections between schools via the Internet: schools websites, schools accounts on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp to share science projects that will interest all students;
  • Arrange a Science Museum visit. Museums are awesome 'live' lessons.

Levels: All levels (different activities for different ages and grades): Primary, Secondary, Vocational education. Don't forget to motivate girls to science studies.

Curriculum : Science ; Cross-curricular Languages ; Sciences ; Technologies.

Some curiosities?

Lire, Italia (nota)

In the honor of his works, Alessandro Volta's image was depicted on the Italian 10,000 lira note (no longer in circulation) with a sketch of his voltaic pile. 

Doodle graphic design
Mark Holmer, doodler

Mark Holmer, Google new artist/doodler (his 2nd doodle) explains the Doodle artistc process after a research on Volta and images of his inventions, until he came to the last version of Volta's doodle. 

Note: An interesting reading for students, not only in Design curriculum.

Why not mention how the electric battery, as we know it today, is crucial to our everyday lives as mobile phones demand great things from tiny devices, continue to push the technology forward.

“What is it possible to do well, in physics particularly, if things are not reduced to degrees and measures?”

Alessandro Volta


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Schools : Alessandro Volta : electrical science : resources bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.