Monday, March 22, 2010

Ada Lovelace Day back for 2010

"Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging (videologging, podcasting, comic drawing etc.!) to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science," writes Suw Charman Anderson, founder of Ada Lovelace Day. I joined in last year.

It's the perfect day to tell a story about an innovative woman in science or tech, whether a famous person or someone you know! As Suw wrote:

"Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines, whatever they do. It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, or what you normally blog about – everyone is invited."

So join in!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Deep ecology and monitoring tropical forests with technology

Jane Goodall is an amazing primatologist, and also UN Messenger for Peace. Here is an interview by OneWorldTV, spanning a range of inspiring topics. She talks about how local people can monitor forests with mobile phones combined with Google Earth through to her educational programmes, and the spiritual importance of experiencing forests.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

French reform to science and tech curricula

Like most EU countries, France is suffering from falling interest in science and tech studies and careers. In addition, the curriculum had not been revised in these topics for some years. The French Ministry of Education and Research has just published information on a reformed approach to science and tech teaching and learning. Most documents available are in French only, but here are some of the highlights:
  • Science and technology subjects will be easier to combine with languages. In the past, only one language could be studied together with science. Now students can choose two - exactly what I wanted to do back when I was at secondary school...
  • Science and tech will be organised in several sub-topics according to whether you go for 'science and industrial technology' (comprising technology innovation and eco-design; digital information systems; energy and sustainable development; building and architecture) or 'laboratory science and technology' (including biotechnology and applied physics and chemistry).

The curriculum looks really interesting and modern - however, where is biological and life science in this framework? It seems that it has been totally separated from the other sciences, which seems to be a mistake when sustainable development and eco-design relies on a fundamental understanding of these topics.

More information (in French)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Web roundup: my top picks

With e-Skills Week only just out of the way, I have little time to scan the blogosphere - but these caught my eye:

Monday, March 01, 2010

e-Skills Week: podcast interview

Interested to hear me waffle on about e-Skills, geekery and why tech is cool? You can download an interview I did for e-Skills Week, as part of the e-Skills Week podcast series.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Socialnomics: the impact of social networks

As we get ready for e-Skills Week, Martha Lane Fox tweeted a link to this great video from Erik Qualman, the author of Socialnomics - an excellent book and blog on social media. It's from last year, but it summarises really well some of the key facts about social networks - not to mention it has a nice Fatboy Slim track to keep you interested while you watch! Not strictly education, but social media is totally pervasive in Europe nowadays so important for all of us.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What is nanotech? Stephen Fry explains!

For the Nanoyou project, our partners at the University of Cambridge Cavendish Lab have produced this fabulous video, narrated by Stephen Fry. Not only does it explain succintly what nanotech is, but it's all rounded off with a great soundtrack...

NANOYOU - Narrated by Stephen Fry from NANOYOU on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

eTwinning: explaining teacher cooperation in animation

We've been releasing a lot of clips recently at European Schoolnet, and one I'm especially pleased with is this one for eTwinning, done together with Dog Studio. The idea was to make a short clip that explained, with no words, what eTwinning is about. The team did a really great job.

Watch the clip, and see if you think it explains the project!

Visit the eTwinning website to know more and get involved in school cooperation projects

e-Skills Week video clip: IT's your future!

The whole team is working really hard on the e-Skills Week campaign to raise awareness of IT careers, and have just released a promotional video clip to share around.

Visit the e-Skills website!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Best of the rest: fortnightly roundup

There are so many terrific bloggers out there now, just keeping up with them is really tough. Here are some of my favourite posts from this last fortnight:

    Addressing gender issues in technology

    Recent research from IDC (PDF) indicates that within the next five years, 90% of jobs in Europe will require IT skills and there are not enough skilled people on the job market. At the same time, there are few women participating in IT-based careers - more involvement from them could improve the situation (see my previous post on the European Schoolnet/Cisco research on this topic).

    I've recently joined the executive committee of the European Centre for Women and Technology, a Norway-based non-profit aiming to improve women's participation in the knowledge economy and the IT industry. ECWT organises numerous activities through its member companies and organisations across the EU, including:
    • The European Directory for Women in Technology, a platform for women to network, find out more about training opportunities, and for organisations looking for e-Skilled women to find appropriate candidates.
    • The gender component of e-Skills Week, as well as providing the national contact points for Portugal and France
    • The Code of best practices, a voluntary agreement from IT companies such as Microsoft, Google, etc. The agreement commits them to implement a range of diversity practices, including the encouragment of girls and women in education and training, implement gender neutral recruitment policies and encourage work/life balance as well as family-friendly approaches.

      Monday, January 18, 2010

      INSPIRE report on motivating students to learn maths, science and technology using learning resources

      Inspire (Innovative Science Pedagogy in Research and Education) aimed to develop and experiment new teaching methods in the field of maths, science and technology (MST).

      The purpose was to challenge the lack of interest among students to start scientific studies and to extend the supply of scientific specialists and to develop a scientific culture in European countries.

      During a period of ten months Inspire:
      * Observed the impact of new teaching methods on pupils and on their motivation.
      * Analysed the pre-requisites to be defined for enabling teachers to integrate these new techniques in their pedagogy.
      * Identified the critical success factors to be mastered at the level of the teacher and the school for the generalization of such practices.

      This report describes the final results of the research project, examining the impact of various digital learning resources on science teaching and learning.

      Download the full report (PDF) or take a look online below.

      Saturday, January 09, 2010

      Data Protection Day 2010

      Young people aged between 15 and 19 years olds are invited to take part in the Data Protection competition organised to celebrate Data Protection Day on 28 January 2010. The competition will run from 1 October 2009 to 5 January 2010. This is one of the promo clips for the event! Visit the website at

      Monday, January 04, 2010

      Great ideas for science education: free eBook

      Want some new ideas for science teaching and learning? Take a look at this selection of practices, specially picked by the STELLA science education research team. They've scoured the EU to identify some of the most successful approaches to science teaching, and presented them in a lively way. Some of the notable ones are teaching physics through karate, and using collaborative approaches such as eTwinning to liven up teaching with international experiences. The practices are selected on the basis of being easily transferable and replicable in different circumstances and cultures. The practices cover both primary and secondary education.

      My colleagues Agueda Gras Valezquez, Caroline Kearney and I also co-wrote a paper to close the eBook looking at how ICT-based tools can improve students' motivation to learn science.

      Download the full PDF version

      Download the executive summary