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